With a hybrid format, the eighth Dominican Film Festival returns, for its acronym in English DFFNYC, whose motto for this year is “Telling our own stories” and whose inauguration took place on Tuesday, November 9, at the United Palace Theater in Alto Manhattan.
From November 9 to 14, 2021, the DFFNYC will become an emblematic showcase for film productions in the Dominican Republic and a means to convene and bring together experts and representative personalities of the island’s cinema and the diaspora.
The DFFNYC was founded in 2012 by Armando Guareño and since then it has grown to become one of the most popular Latino film festivals in the city, where the Dominican community is the largest Latino group.
As the organizers reported in a press release, the 2021 edition will showcase a broad artistic creation from the city’s diverse population, including Latinos from twenty-one countries. DFFNYC programming will be broadcast to the rest of the United States virtually.
PROMOTING QUISQUEYANO CINEMA
DFFNYC is the official festival that promotes Dominican filmmakers, actors, talents, and productions in the United States, both established and emerging.
Its objective is to inform the public of New York City, about the cinematographic productions produced by Dominicans, in the Dominican Republic or any other setting or that includes themes related to the Caribbean country.
The festival will run until Sunday, November 14 and its official program includes a list of more than one hundred films, which participate in the largest celebration of the Dominican film industry outside the island.
With an in-person and online program, it will offer twenty-four feature films, sixty shorts, and five internationally-released documentaries, in a wide range of genres, from comedy, suspense, horror, and drama, to romance, as well as retrospectives and special shows.
The festival includes the official competition for the DFFNYC Manzana Award, which offers a dynamic compilation of fiction films and documentaries, dedicated to showcasing the talents of established directors, alongside the new movement of filmmakers who are innovating the island’s cinema.
As part of the guidance of the Dominican community and its political leaders, the DFFNYC strives to strengthen relations between the Dominican Republic and the United States through culture, for which it has received several recognitions from elected officials in different positions of the United States government.
ASSEMBLED WITH PRECAUTIONS
The DFFNYC returns with face-to-face screenings, and to say of its founder and director “it will once again be entirely face-to-face, with some special virtual screenings.
We will once again feel the emotions, the applause and that nostalgia to laugh again ”but he warned: “ The festival will follow and respect the appropriate safety protocols established by the city of New York and will prioritize the health and safety of the public and the filmmakers, for which will require the vaccination card with two doses and identity card, to attend the projections and parallel activities ”.
“The experience of the last few months has shown that face-to-face events can be carried out safely and successfully and how important they are for dialogue, exchange, and reliving cinema on the big screen, ” said Armando Guareño.
The DFFNYC includes a special selection of Dominican producers in the diaspora, with twenty-two short films by Dominicans working in the United States, England, Argentina, and France.
The Dominican cinema before the COVID-19 pandemic maintained a remarkable growth rate and now with the start of DFFNYC 2021 it shows that it does not intend to lower its guard in its development and with great determination Guareño stated:
“This year’s programming is as diverse as our town. We bring the best of the Dominican Republic to our audience ”.
Another novelty of this 2021 edition is that the festival will be held virtually in Puerto Rico, through a digital platform that offers live broadcasts of events and movies, as well as Hispanic series, but with specialized content in Puerto Rico, Republic Dominican, and Spain.
At its opening on Tuesday, November 9, in addition to the traditional red carpet and an opening ceremony that included the International premiere of the film “It’s not what it seems” directed by Maler David and starring Frank Perozo and Nashua Bogeart, in addition to the Special performance by Venezuelan actress Gaby Espino and Jaime Mayol.
The film tells the story of Juanma, who has the life she has always wanted, an organized routine, a comfortable job, and the same girlfriend for nine years, things couldn’t be better for her, her life was perfect until she decides to ask her He marries his girlfriend on their anniversary, but a discovery causes Juan’s perfect world to fall apart.
“Short Films – Big Stories is”, a cinematographic celebration of young directors with new and refreshing voices where their visual proposals make us see cinema from another point of view.
The competitive section concludes with “Dominicans in the Diaspora,” which showcases talented Dominican filmmakers who, for various reasons, choose to tell their stories away from home.
The centerpiece of this year’s festival is the film “Carta Blanca” directed by Pedro Urrutia, which tells the story of a Dominican policeman whose life unfolds among criminals and policemen who bring criminals to justice, killing them without repercussions, allowing him to choose who to sacrifice in the two worlds.
The festival will conclude on Sunday, November 14 with the world premiere of La Bruja, a horror film directed by Ronny A. Sosa, starring Hony Estrella, Manny Pérez, and Lumy Lizardo, tells the story of Don Mario, who makes a pact with a witch in exchange for her saving the life of her son Omar, but the witch sets a condition: if she saves Omar, when he has a daughter and she turns fifteen, she will take her for a ritual.
The program will include a retrospective of short films by the students of the Santo Domingo Technological Institute (INTEC), as part of the agreement between both institutions to promote pedagogical, academic, technical, and technological training activities.
The festival will include a sample of the winning cinematographic works of the Funprocine contest, which dedicates its resources to promoting and stimulating the production of Dominican cinematographic works through its annual call, offering financial aid and the opportunity to develop, achieving democratization of the national cinematographic production. from the Dominican Republic.
The films in this special exhibition are the debut feature “Libero” by director Nino Martinez Sosa, “Candela” by young filmmaker Andrés Farías and “D’story” by Marie Jiménez.
The festival will also include panels, workshops, and conversations with invited directors, producers, and actors. There will be a parallel cinema section, called “Family Day-Out”, with a program of films for all ages, which will be held for free at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center.