5th Panafest

PANAFEST, a celebration of Latinx film and culture organized by the Panamanian International Film Festival in LA (PIFF/LA) returns to Downtown Los Angeles on October 18-20, 2019. Its new home is at The Downtown Independent, on Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles. In its 5th Edition, #PIFFlosangeles continues to showcase films by International & U.S. Latinx Filmmakers.




The Mission:

To heal children and their families through art and film.


The East LA Society of Film and Arts (TELASOFA) was started as an initiative to introduce youth in East LA to filmmaking, photography and Theater in 2005 as a program of Bienvenidos Children's Services. 

At TELASOFA  we believe in the relationship between creative arts and health outcomes. We use the visual arts as a medium for educating children and families on public health issues.  Engaging or initiating arts it can enhance families mood, emotions and have other noticeable psychological effects. 

Our youth programs are data driven and use evidence based curriculums. For the past ten years we've focused on HIV/STDs and substance abuse prevention using evidenced based curriculums approved by NREPP. Our cohorts are six sessions  with an additional two months of engagement through using visual arts.

Through our unique connection to Hollywood once the youth go through the 6 sessions we are able to provide additional education in the field of digital media arts by teaching photography and filmmaking. 

 TELASOFA is located and operates in East Los Angeles and continues to serve a need for the creative film industry on the East Side of Los Angeles, where there are no major film industry centers or film programs in the area. External data shows that East Los Angeles has the largest concentration of Latinos in the U.S. Unfortunately, 29% of families are living below poverty level. At the same time, it is a young community, with now over 50% of the population under the age of 23. TELASOFA’s participants are 90% Latino, 5% Asian American and 5% African American. This area has shown 51.8% substance abuse, 53.3% family conflict, 61% exposure to gang violence, sibling who is a teen parent 25% and 73% with no health insurance. TELASOFA believes that community change occurs when the community itself is actively involved, educated, and working toward shared goals. TELASOFA empowers local youth and young adults to address the challenges that they and their peers face through creative video, filmmaking and animation. In this time of little to no economic growth for young adults, additional skills such as the arts can give job seekers an advantage over their counterparts.

In 2018, TELASOFA will provide services in the South Central and WATTS area an area that is also underserved.







2005 - TELASOFA was founded as a program of Bienvenidos Children's Services.

2008 - Youth from the Greater East Los Angeles Area participated in Needle Juice, a film about drug use.     

2008 - TELASOFA founded the East LA Film Festival connecting Hollywood filmmakers to mentor youth in                    East LA. Through out the years the festival partnered with Supervisor Gloria Molina, Supervisor Hilda                Solis, Councilman Jose Huizar and Congressman Jimmy Gomez. 

2009 - With funding from SAMHSA TELASOFA enhanced Project SAFE LA, an HIV and substance abuse                        prevention program by facilitating acting, art and filmmaking classes to engage youth in East LA. 

2010 - Partnered with continuation high schools in the East LA area and continues to provide services in                        prevention. 

2015 - TELASOFA became a 501 c 3 nonprofit and continues to partner with Bienvenidos Children's Services. 

2017 - The 9th Annual East LA Film Festival received the largest attendance focusing on environmental                       strategies for youth and families.

2018 -  Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA) and TELASOFA along with La Causa YouthBuild and                                Bienvenidos Children's Services became Uprising Outcast: An Eastside Perspective photo exhibit.