Abner Benaim

Abner Benaim


Cinema allows us to play outside the boundaries of reason, where the only logic that matters is the internal logic of the creative process; our desires. Cinema is a magical force; as familiar as love and as elusive as the imagination itself. It’s a powerful antidote against the difficulties that come with life (and death).

Abner Benaim is a director, producer, and screenwriter who studied International Relations and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and later film directing at Camera Obscura, Tel Aviv. In 2004, he founded Apertura Films, an independent production company, in his native Panama, where he is considered a pioneer filmmaker.

He is known for CHANCE (2009), INVASION (2014), RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME (2018) and PLAZA CATEDRAL (2021). Benaim’s films have been Panama’s official selection on three occasions for the Oscars. PLAZA CATEDRAL (2021), his latest feature film, was shortlisted at the 2022 Oscars, the first time in history for a film from Panama.

Benaim’s films have been selected at prestigious film festivals such as SXSW, IDFA, HOTDOCS and True False, and have won multiple awards as well as critical acclaim. His projects have participated at Berlinale, Sundance and Jerusalem Lab.

Benaim’s work deals with social issues and touching personal stories told in an unceremonious, sometimes humorous and irreverent tone.