Lovers of Dominican cinema are about to get their fix on. This year’s festival is bigger than ever featuring over 70 films in various venues throughout Manhattan but mostly Uptown. The festival kicks off on July 25 at the venerable United Palace with the critically acclaimed film Carpinteros/Woodpeckers.
In addition to the plethora of awesome Dominican films on tap the festival will also include panels, workshops and Q&As. The Dominican film industry has been growing by leaps and bounds and has been releasing outstanding films at a rapid clip. The Dominican Film Festival In New York has become the official pipeline for that prodigious output. Simply stated, if you enjoy Dominican films then it doesn’t get better than the Dominican Film Festival In New York. The festival also doesn’t shy away from controversy highlighting several films that deal with the crisis facing Dominicans of Haitian descent. Please see below for a sampling of some of the films we are looking forward to checking out. Get your tickets ASAP before they are all gone.
Check out: http://dominicanfilmfestival.com/
CARPINTEROS / Woodpeckers
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Julián finds love and a reason for living in the last place imaginable: the Dominican Republic’s Najayo Prison. His romance, with fellow prisoner Yanelly, must defeat the distance that separates them by using a sign language created by the inmates in Najayo, called “Woodpecking”, enabling them to effectively communicate and develop personal and even intimate relationships without the knowledge of dozens of guards.
SI DIOS QUIERE YULI
(GOD WILLING, YULI)
For Yuli, a Haitian woman living in the Dominican Republic for more than 35 years, it has been an ongoing struggle to raise her children with dignity as she deals with her precarious immigration status. In the midst of government regularisation, imminent deportation and personal upheaval, the questions arise: What really makes us belong to a place? How are the links between the land and its people made?
In a remote part of the island of Santo Domingo, completely cut off from modern technology, we find Moíses. Determined to help his ailing mother, he embarks on an expedition to find a rare fruit with the power to cure her. During his search, he meets Bel, a beautiful young blue-haired woman, who will transform his journey.
CAMINO A HIGUEY
(Road To Higuey)
Road to Higüey is a real-life film about Faith, about the feeling of deep love that Dominicans feel towards the Virgin of Altagracia, Mother Protector of the Dominican Republic. The route presented in this documentary encompasses the nobility, humility and devotion of a devout people, who express themselves genuinely through the devotion that many Dominicans profess to the Virgin of Altagracia, symbol of the Dominican idiosyncrasy and central axis of the documentary. The film is composed of diverse stories that touch aspects of the daily life of its protagonists: the conversion, the marriage, the health and the familiar problems; each of these stories converge with devotion to the Virgin of Altagracia, Mother Protector of the Dominican people.
Under the bridge, Ruddy connects the two shores of the Ozama River. He rows side by side all day long transporting the labourers of the area. Twice a week, Morena interferes Ruddy’s routine and they have lover’s meetings. She’s an active evangelical Christian. They have been together for the last eleven years. The documentary process plunges Ruddy into reflections as he never did before.
CITIZENS OF NOWHERE
(Ciudadanos de Ninguna Parte)
September 2013. The Court ruling is reached. Almost a quarter million Dominicans of Haitian descent have just become stateless because of the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal’s decision. Identified as scapegoats for all problems affecting the country, they have lost everything: their rights, their liberty, their identity. Presented as a tale and narrated by Haitian poet and playwright Jean-Claude Martineau, this film takes us to the very heart of the human drama lived by these migrants who have sacrificed everything to follow their dream of freedom.
CUENTAS POR COBRAR
After serving a 10 year sentence Achilles intends to redeem himself through good and honest work but finds himself following a different but familiar path in order to save the life of his son.
EL HOMBRE QUE CUIDA
Major tensions hide beneath the otherwise placid surface of this sunny island drama. Taciturn Juan tries to forget a lost love while his daily rhythm as the watchman at one of the villas along the coast is disrupted by the arrival of the owner’s son.
HASTA LA RAIZ
(Down to the Root)
Imagine the country where you were born and raised tell you one day that you do not belong anymore because of your parents’ origins. You’d be forced to deny who you are, to hide your roots, excluded from civil life, and condemned to live in poverty. ‘Down to the Root’ is the story of three women facing this reality in the Dominican Republic where a part of society rejects them while another embraces and fights alongside them on a journey toward the recognition of their rights, and a proud re-encounter with their identity.
PRELUDIO DEL CAMBIO CLIMÁTICO
(The Enriquillo Lake)
History and Evolution of the Largest Lake in the Antilles: Its flora, fauna and its legends. This film is an exhaustive investigation into the lake’s rising water level, analyzed by professionals who have researched it for years. The documentary looks at how the rising water is affecting the area’s inhabitants while attracting the attention of the scientific community around the world. Scientists view the phenomenon as a window into the effects and consequences of climate change.
LOKI 7 (LUCKY 7)
WORLD PREMIERE (PRODUCER’S CUT)
A thriller packed with scams and black humor. 7 friends are caught in a mess involving a lot of money and two mobsters, one Russian and one Dominican, who control the underworld of Punta Cana. The extent of the problem may cost them their lives, but with cunning ingenuity they manage to face the mobsters and escape their entanglement.
Ángel Maceta, a young boy from the countryside, knows neither his father, a man named Puro Maceta, no his history. Everything changes the day he finds a “magical book” that slowly reveals his father’s story. We see how the same dangers that haunted Puro years ago, remain present in Ángel’s life. It is the story of our little hero and his search for truth, and how this search inspires others to follow the same path… Because at some point the past always comes back for us.
Check out: http://dominicanfilmfestival.com/