Dominican Republic Cinema Gains Momentum at Huelva Festival As It Raises Its International Profile

One of the most robust of Latin America’s emerging film industries,  Dominican Republic cinema boasts a standout presence at this year’s Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival.

On Monday, Nov. 13, following a two-year alliance inked at the Cannes Festival by Dominican Republic film commission DGCine and the Huelva Festival, four Dominican projects at development stage will be presented at an event intended for film producers interested in Ibero-American co-production.

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“The four projects are representative of the current Dominican cinema landscape, made by a new generation of filmmakers which demonstrates the diversity of voices and issues [addressed] in our film industry,” says Marianna Vargas Gurilieva, general director at DGCine.

“Víctor Piñeyro’s ‘El sueño’ is a universal and popular story, interesting for its references; Karlina Veras’ ‘La mansa’ has a singular tone, with passages through Spain; a striking project, Juliano Kunert’s “Maguana Racing” offers a tremendously peculiar premise, and Yinna de la Cruz’s ‘Postpartum’ tells another popular and universal story, with the possibility of integrating a Spanish cast,” she explains.

Dominican prominence at Huelva extends to the festival’s main competition with Gabriella A. Moses’s film “Boca Chica,” after its successful world premiere at Tribeca, where it won the Nora Ephron Award.

At Cannes, Huelva Festival and DGCine inked a collaboration deal to work together to carry out activities that promote co-production between Spain and the Dominican Republic in the 49th and 50th Huelva editions.

“We have been working with Dominican institutions and festivals for years and programming their filmmakers’ works,” argues Huelva Festival director Manuel H. Martín.

“The festival is in talks to further cinema entities from other countries to reach collaboration deals aimed at promoting their industries, eyeing next year’s half century anniversary,” he says.

“For us, Huelva Festival is a favorable setting to present the Dominican Republic as a co-production partner,” Vargas Gurilieava says.

As part of the deal, Huelva is programming over Nov. 3-19 via Spain’s top indie film platform Filmin, a special focus on Dominican cinema.

With the objective of building the international reach of Dominican film internationally, the focus offers access to 11 features and one short film, among them Huelva 2018’s top Colón de Oro winner “Miriam miente,” by Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada film.

Huelva has regularly bet on Dominican films, which are enjoying a growing and recognized presence om the current international arthouse scene.

IFF Rotterdam regularly welcomes Dominican filmmakers such as multi-awarded director Laura Amelia Guzmán, whose recent film “La hembrita” snagged a big screen award nomination.

At February’s Berlinale, Dominican Victoria Linares Villegas’s documentary “Ramona” played at Generation 14plus; in August, “Three Bullets,” a feature project by Génesis Valenzuela, a Dominican alum of San Sebastian’s Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola, took the top prize at Locarno Open Doors.

Also “Tiguere,” directed and produced by “Woodpeckers” director José María Cabral, and Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias’ Dominican co-production “Pepe” have been selected for the upcoming edition of Ventana Sur’s Corte Final pix-in-post section.

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