Who we are

There are 55 million hispanics in the US. Our mission is to develop, produce, and distribute movies targeting this market. After spending 25 years in the television business, including 6 as CEO of Telemundo James (Jim ) McNamara founded Panamax Films in late 2005. Jim had witnessed first-hand the growing power of the US Hispanic market. He had transformed Telemundo from a buyer of finished programming to the second largest producer of Spanish language content in the world. He achieved this transformation by aggressively courting the best producers, writers and actors of Spanish language television. As he was becoming familiar with the best writers he noticed that one writer of a highly successful Colombian novella had an odd name for a Colombian, Ben Odell. He finally tracked down Odell only to discover he was an American who had traveled to Colombia for a 2 week vacation and stayed 10 years! Odell and McNamara hit it off immediately and formed a partnership that would leave its mark on US Spanish language Film.

Lionsgate played a crucial role in the evolution of Panamax fIlms. Jim had been recruited to run Telemundo by Jon Feltheimer who at the time ran Sony Television, controlling shareholder of Telemundo. After 6 years at the helm of Telemundo Jim was ready for a new chapter in his career. He invited Feltheimer to lunch. Feltheimer had moved from Sony over to run Lionsgate Entertainment. Jim was ready to lay out his vision for a film company. Basically, with 3 national TV networks, over 400 radio stations, newspapers, magazines, etc it simply didn’t make sense that there weren’t movies targeting the same audience. Feltheimer likes to remind people he said “yes” to give Panamax a production deal before the appetizers were served!

Over the years Panamax Films and Jim have produced, co-produced or distributed 12 films. More recently Panamax has not been as active as Jim has assumed the role of Chairman of Pantelion Films and Chairman of Cinelatino . Ben Odell has taken a full time role as Head of Production and Development at Pantelion Films.

For a more detailed personal update on Ben and Jim please see the links on the Cinelatino, Pantelion, and Hemisphere Media.

Our history

  • 2005 -
    PANAMAX FILMS FOUNDED BY JIM MCNAMARA. BEN ODELL JOINS AS HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION. ENTERS INTO FILM FINANCING DISTRIBUTION DEAL WITH LIONSGATE. DISTRIBUTES LA MUJER DE MI HERMANO, AT THE TIME THE LARGEST RELEASE OF A SPANISH LANGUAGE FILM IN THE US.
  • 2007 -
    SANGRE DE MI SANGRE WINS THE GRAND JURY PRIZE AT SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. PRODUCES SHOOT EM UP FILM ROCKAWAY.
  • 2008 -
    AMOR, DOLOR, Y VIVE VERSA STARRING BARBARA MORI IS RELEASED IN MEXICO. ALL-INCLUSIVE IS RELEASED IN MEXICO.
  • 2010 -
    SIN MEMORIA IS PRODUCED BY PANTELION.
  • 2011 -
    FROM PRADA TO NADA IN PRODUCED AND RELEASED IN THE US AS PANTELION’S FIRST PICTURE
  • 2012 -
    GIRL IN PROGRESS PRODUCED AND RELEASED IN THE US. WINS ALMA AWARD AS BEST FILM, AND BEST YOUNG ACTRESS.
  • 2013 -
    AZTEC WARRIOR PRODUCED (TO BE RELEASED IN 2014)