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SABOR TROPICAL (OFFICIAL TRAILER) - a JORGE AMEER film - starring MATTHEW LEITCH

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Published on May 29, 2009

FUN & FROLIC IN THE SUN...NIGHTS OF BACCHANAL
DIAS DE JOLGORIO...NOCHES DE BACANAL
Una pelicula del cineasta JORGE AMEER

COMING SOON... ONLY IN THEATRES

LOGLINE:
Mattew Leitch, star of the award winning film AKA, headlines this carnival romp as Brian, a foreign journalist, who travels to Panama on vacation during one of Latin America's premiere festival celebrations- the carnival of Las Tablas- only to find himself in a relationship of desperation and violence.

more infor & press photos @
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ABOUT THE CARNIVAL OF LAS TABLAS

Carnival of Las Tablas is in the Province of Los Santos, two hundred and eighty two kilometers and three and a half hours away from Panama City is recognized as the best carnival in this country. It takes place during February, about 40 days before Good Friday. Carnivals traditions and rituals date back to the days of the Roman bacchanals where mythology and rituals were practiced. The carnvial of Las Tablas is at least two hundred and fifty years old. This pagan event rooted in folklore can be traced back to pre-Christian and pre-Islamic origins. This year Calle Abajo (downtown Las Tablas) is celebrating their 50th queen anniversary marking 2009 a special year that will ultimately gather past and present royalty as they celebrate heritage, their reign of the downtown kingdom and breed new blood into this pagan affair. The origins of carnival date back to the worshiping of the gods. These gods as they knew them represented our vital existance representing are the gods of the earth, water (such as Jimaja in Brazilian culture, Hydros in Greek, Osiris in Egypt), sky (Zeus in Greek, Shu in Egypt) and the sun (also referred to as Helios or Apollo in Greek Culture and Ra in ancient Egypt). These gods were feared and glorified in ancient cultures. It is from these ritualistic practices that the resurgence of carnival evolved into what it is today. There are many religious undertones to this yearly event specially of the glorification of the god "Momo" (said "El Dios Momo" in Spanish). The god "Momo" represents the freedom of the spirit, the decadence that come with the pleasures of the flesh and the unification of the people for the worshiping of this bacchanal god.


On friday before Ash Wednesday everything begins with the selection of the carnival queen and her attendants. Queens are selected from both Uptown and downtown Las Tablas. Their reign lasts from their coronation ceremony until the successor is crowned the following year. It's a true spectacle of beauty and extravaganza. The queens work very hard all year round to raise funds for the expenditures of their glamorous costumes and and exhorbitant floats and thrones. Their respective towns become their kingdoms of festive cultural traditions.


For all Panamanians, Carnival is the most awaited annual event, their popularity is comparable in Latin America with the famous Brazilian carnival, both in popular participation, fun, as well as in their splendorous costumes and popular folkloric allegories.

The whole country, a multitude of people from all races and social backgrounds, take to the streets for four days and five nights, for the sole purpose of having fun.

Events follow a similar pattern on each of the four days of Carnival (Saturday to Tuesday). In the morning, there are "mojaderas" or water throwing, blue dye and shaving cream fights in the central plaza, and the two "tunas" parade in sexy clothing, dressed for the heat, dancing and singing songs praising their group or ridiculizing the other. The morning events are called the culecos.

Thousands of people are congregated in a small plaza to enjoy the exciting "culecos" wich are mainly popular outdoor dances where participants are sprinkled on constantly with clean water pumped from cistern trucks. There are moments when the event comes to a climax when the queens parade with their beautiful costumes saluting participants while the songs and the traditional typical music of the tunas play along. The luxury and the splendor of the Las Tablas Carnival envelope the nights while the traditional rivalries among the "calle arriba" and "calle abajo" tunas, (each routing for their Queen), sing folkloric tunes and dance on top of the impressive and majestic allegorical carts designed for each of the four holidays. They are accompanied by "comparsas" and "tunas" (cheerful groups of musicians and dancers) which delight young and old alike. At nights there are dances in popular public sites and streets that complete a full day of festivities.


People dress in party clothes and the dancing parades include decorated floats. After the parades at night, each tuna goes back to their toldo (their base) and join a large dancing party until early hours of the morning.

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