Cultural promotion in Panama has counted on Pituka Ortega for many years, having in 1989 founded as a young editor the magazine “Década”, devoted to fomenting the arts in Panama. Afterwards, her career veered towards the film industry. She produced, wrote and directed short films such as “India Dormida”, “El Mandado”, “Isabel de Obaldía” and “Sacrifictum”, which took part in several international film festivals and obtained wide critical accolades.
Her feature film “Los puños de una nación” (The Fists of a Nation) obtained the support prize from Cinergia 2005 (Fund for Promoting Audiovisuals in Central America and the Caribbean) also receiving the award for Best Documentary at the Cinesul Festival in Rio de Janeiro in 2006 and the award for Best Production at the Central America Ícaro Festival. This film was also recognized with honorable mentions at the International Festival of Documentary Films in the City of Mexico, DOCS D.F., the San Antonio International Film Festival, the International Film Festival of Cartagena de Indias and the Latin American Film Festival in Holland, as well as other recognitions in Europe and Asia. The documentary was chosen to be part of the official selection of several festivals around the world.
One of the five short films comprising the feature “Historias del Canal” which represented Panama at the 2014 Goya Awards bears the directorial stamp of Pituka Ortega.
Ortega has served as a jury in international video and film festivals in Cuba, Costa Rica and Guadalajara, and has also participated as a jury in the literary competition Ricardo Miró, in the novel category.
Her far-reaching work in the field of culture has been recently acknowledged in the book “Mujeres panameñas en las artes en el siglo XX” (Panamanian Women in the Arts of the XX Century).