San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Montezuma to Host Film Festival

During a visit to Montezuma, on the southern NicoyaPeninsula, film-maker Eric Panter thought the Pacific beach community was a prime location for a film festival.

Montezuma’s El Sano Banano hotel already screened independent movies, and the town’s laidback atmosphere is an “artistic home for artistic personalities,” Panter said.

“It almost calls out, ‘Have a large festival here,’” he said.

So, along with his partners at the U.S.- based Festival League, Panter launched the first Montezuma International Film Festival, set to kick off Nov. 1 and run through Nov. 5.

The festival will feature more than just movie screenings, Panter said. It will also be a kind of a party, at least for one day.

On the program are more than 60 films (about 45 are shorts) from around the world. Shorts will be split into genres such as drama and comedy, and screened throughout the festival.

Documentaries will also be featured, including the latest from director Robert Greenwald (“Outfoxed”) about the Iraq War, titled “Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers.”

Another documentary, “The Short Life of José Antonio Gutiérrez,” tells the story of a former

Guatemalan street

kid who immigrated to the United States by traveling up the

Inter-American Highway

, then joined the army and was killed in Iraq.

A panel of experts is also scheduled to discuss disappearing indigenous communities in Latin America.

On the lighter side, a street party featuring fire dancers and much more is planned for Nov. 3. Art exhibits will also be on hand, and a horseback ride and a boat tour to Isla Tortuga in the Gulf of Nicoya will be offered.

“This is more than a film festival,” Panter said. “We really want people to come down and experience this.”

For more information about the festival, visit


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