The Filmmakers

A number of the key people heading this project are not career filmmakers. Stuart Svenson, executive producer, director, and narrator, has a day job leading Panama’s premier foodservice company. Nanette Archer Svenson, Stuart’s wife and the one responsible for the research, story and screenplay, is a scholar and consultant who usually works in education and development. Wilford Lamastus, Jr., associate producer, is a specialty coffee grower, roaster and brewer. Of the core team, Jose Guardia Davis, editor (as well as music supervisor and curator of stock and archival footage), Marcelo Bibiloni, director of photography, and Ricky Merchan, responsible for the sound mix, are film industry professionals. As such, they bring invaluable technical and artistic direction, as well as documentary experience, to the film.

Stuart Svenson
Born to a Panamanian mother and an American father. He grew up between New Orleans and Panama. Stuart majored in Latin American Studies at Tulane University, later earning a Master’s of Arts degree in Comparative Culture at Sophia University, in Tokyo, where he met and married Nanette. After leaving Japan and living in Barcelona for a couple of years, in early 1993, Stuart and Nanette moved to Panama. Stuart founded Panama’s first foodservice distribution company, Proserv, in 1999, which he continues to operate. Stuart’s—and Nanette’s—foray into film-making, while somewhat related to Stuart’s food business, was a true twist of fate. Stuart’s hobbies include cooking, drumming and sailing. He and Nanette have two daughters, Christina and Sophia, who live and work in California.
Nanette Archer Svenson
Originally from California, though she has now lived more years in Panama than in the United States. She completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University, her MBA at IESE in Barcelona, and her PhD in International Development at Tulane University. For the past two decades she has worked with the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as with different universities and governments to promote education and national development. Nanette has published a number of books, chapters, articles and reports, but this is her first documentary. In her spare time, she likes to cook, read, practice yoga, and go for long walks on the beach.
Wilford Lamastus, Jr.
Fourth generation Panamanian coffee producer from the Lamastus Family Estates, founded by his great grandfather in 1918. The Estates’ main business was commercial coffee production until 1995 when the onset of the coffee crisis forced the production shift from commercial to specialty coffee. Wilford Jr. has worked on the Estates for the past eight years and is in charge of agricultural innovation, quality control and sales management. He also trains as a competitive barista as a means to staying on top of the latest trends in specialty coffee. Since 2017, he has worked on developing the Panama Geisha brand in an effort to propel national visibility in the world of specialty coffee.
Jose Guardia Davis
An experienced, multi-faceted professional with a degree in advertising and marketing from the Universidad Latina in Panama. Established since 2002 as an audiovisual post-producer in charge of editing, animation and special effects mainly for advertising projects, he began his career in film in 2014 as a digital imaging technician and editing assistant. Jose currently works as an editor and colorist and also designs and directs post-production work flows for feature films. This documentary is the first project for which he has had complete editorial responsibility.
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