Paraíso Tropical

Director and Producer Abner Benaim, Producers Daniel Junge and Malu Zayon
Paraíso Tropical


A psychological docu-thriller, Paraíso Tropical investigates the mysteries and unsolved questions of a terrorist attack in Latin America–one that had profound reverberations among those the victims left behind.

Phase of Support: Development

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Abner Benaim

Abner Benaim - Director, Producer

Benaim 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. Known for: Chance, Invasion, Ruben Blades Is Not My Name and Plaza Catedral. Benaim’s films have been Panama’s official selection on three occasions for the Oscars. Plaza Catedral, his latest feature film, was shortlisted for the 2022 Oscars, the first time in history a film from Panama has received the honor. 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.

Daniel Junge

Daniel Junge - Producer

Daniel Junge is an Oscar-winning (2-time nominated) and Emmy-winning (6-time nominated) documentary filmmaker. His films include Oscar-winner Saving Face, Sundance-premiere Being Evel, Toronto-premiere Iron Ladies of Liberia, Netflix-broadcast Fight Church, Tribeca-premiere A Lego Brickumentary, Tribeca-winner Chiefs, Oscar-nominee The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner and Oscar-short-listed They Killed Sister Dorothy. Junge also served as showrunner and director on the AMC series Secret History of Comics, and, most recently the Emmy-nominated Challenger: The Final Flight, for Netflix.

Malu Zayon

Malu Zayon - Producer

Malu Zayon studied Journalism and Communication in Havana University, Cuba and Cinema at Sam Spiegel School and Tel Aviv University, Israel. She works as a producer between the two worlds, Latin America and the Middle East. Productions: Happy Holidays by Scandar Coptic, Fresco Films (In post production, Doha Grant); Good Morning Tel Aviv by Giovanna Gagliardo, Istituto Luce Cinecittà; Plaza Catedral, by Abner Benaim, Apertura Films (Short listed for the Oscars); The Stranger by Ameer Fakher Eldin, Fresco Films (Premiered at Venice); America by Ofir Raul Gazier, Laila Films; Ruben Blades Is Not My Name by Abner Benaim, Apertura Films (Premiered at SXSW); 30 Coins by Alex de la Iglesia, HBO; Bobbi Jean by Elvira Lind, (Premiered at Tribeca); Archipel by Giacomo Abbruzzese (Turin Film Festival).

Project logline and bios courtesy of the grantees.