The “Dominican Film Festival in New York City” returns

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New York — Celebrating its 10th edition, the Dominican Film Festival in New York (DFFNYC), announces its official programming with more than 100 films participating in the largest and most unique celebration of the Dominican film industry outside the Dominican Republic. Achieving total success in its 9th edition during the global pandemic, which was held 100% virtual, the festival returns in a hybrid way, with present and virtual audience screenings. The lineup offers a wide range of genres, including drama, comedy, suspense, horror, romance, retrospectives, and special shows. The festival will take place from November 9 to 14, 2021. 

This new edition of DFFNYC returns with screenings in theaters with an audience eager to enjoy in person the best of Dominican cinema. “The festival will once again be entirely face-to-face, with some special virtual screenings. We will once again feel the emotions, the applause and the nostalgia and to laugh again” says the director and founder, Armando Guareño. The festival will follow and respect all appropriate safety protocols established by the City of New York, prioritizing health and safety for the public and participants in all its activities. Proof of complete vaccination is required from the audience, guests and festival staff, accompanied by identity documentation. Guareño emphasizes, “The experiences we have endured in recent months have shown us that face-to-face events can be held safely and successfully, following all security protocols. We can now enjoy art, dialogue, exchange of ideas and live cinema on the big screen”, expressed Guareño. 

Among the novelties of this edition, the festival will be available in Puerto Rico virtually through the IslandHub digital platform, which offers live PPV broadcast of Hispanic events, movies and series, specialized in content from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Spain. 

DFFNYC will hold its Opening Night on Tuesday, November 9 at United Palace (4140 Broadway) with its traditional grand red carpet and an opening ceremony which includes the international premiere of the film “No es lo que parece” by director Maler David starring Frank Perozo and Nashla Bogaert with special performances by Gaby Espino and Jaime Mayol. The film narrates the life of Juanma, who has the life he has always dreamed of, an organized routine, a comfortable job and the same girlfriend for nine years, things couldn’t be better for him. His life was perfect, until he decides to ask her to marry him on their anniversary … A discovery makes Juanma’s perfect world fall apart. 

“After the restrictions due to the global pandemic, it is refreshing to have a face-to-face opening to enjoy our reunion with the Quisqueyan cinema, with some special virtual screenings”, the organization of the festival announced today. 

The 10th edition of the DFFNYC will have a line-up with more than 100 films that includes 24 feature films, 60 shorts and 5 documentaries of world and international premieres, for the United States and New York. Likewise, the special selection “Dominicans in the Diaspora” with 22 short films by filmmakers working in the United States, England, Argentina and France. 

From November 9 to 14, 2021, under the motto “Telling Our Own Stories”, DFFNYC will be showcased at the Regal E-Walk Cinemas, located at 247 W 42nd St and 8th Avenue in Manhattan as its main venue, with more than 80 actors and filmmakers as special guests. The festival seeks to provide film lovers with an emblematic showcase of the stories that are made today in the Dominican Republic, at the same time bringing together experts and personalities of the cinema of our island and its diaspora under a single roof. “Dominican cinema is enjoying a prolific moment worthy of recognition. This year’s programming is as diverse as our people. We bring the best of the Dominican Republic to our audiences”, says Guareño. 

DFFNYC offers a rich and diverse program including the Official Apple Award Competition, featuring 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 cinema in the Island. “Short Films-Big Stories”, 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 “Dominicans in the Diaspora”, which showcases talented Dominican filmmakers who, for various reasons, choose to tell their stories away from home. All films are subtitled in English. 

The centerpiece of this year’s festival is “Carta Blanca” directed by Pedro Urrutia, which tells the story of a Dominican policeman who lives among criminals and police who bring criminals to justice under the “White Card” mandate, killing criminals without repercussions, causing him to choose who to sacrifice from both worlds. 

The program will also include a retrospective of short films by the students of the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC), as part of the agreement between both institutions to promote pedagogical, academic, technical and technological training activities. “The festival program will be broader than in previous years. And it will also include a sample of the winning cinematographic works of the FonProCine contest, which dedicates its resources to promoting and stimulating the production of Dominican cinematographic works through its annual call, giving them financial support and the opportunity to develop and democratize the national film production. The films in this special exhibition are the debut operas “Liborio” by director Nino Martinez Sosa, “Candela” by young filmmaker Andrés Farías and “D’story” by Marie Jiménez. 

The centerpiece of this year’s festival is “Carta Blanca” directed by Pedro Urrutia, which tells the story of a Dominican policeman who lives among criminals and police who bring criminals to justice under the “White Card” mandate, killing criminals without repercussions, causing him to choose who to sacrifice from both worlds. 

“The Dominican community comprises the largest Latino group in New York City, and the Dominican Film Festival has been instrumental in highlighting the city’s vibrant cultural exchange with the Dominican Republic”, said Anne del Castillo, Commissioner of Media and Entertainment of the Mayor’s Office of the City of New York. “We congratulate them on their 10th year, and we applaud their continued efforts to promote both established creators and the new generation of Dominican filmmakers.” 

One of the treasures of the festival is the international premiere of the film “Más que el Agua” by director Amauris Perez. This film narrates the life of the brothers Nicolás and Carlitos, who live in a neighborhood near the old town of Santo Domingo. Nicolás sells cannabis, which has survived since he and his brother were orphaned 15 years ago. Nicolás knows that it is time to get his brother out of the neighborhood if he wants him to progress in a society that is increasingly hostile towards people like them. 

Another of the festival’s outstanding films is “Candela” by director Andrés Farías, and it tells the lives of three strangers – a high society girl, a lone lieutenant and a drag queen cabaret artist – intertwine on the eve of a hurricane after the mysterious death of a young poet and drug dealer. 

DFFNYC offers a rich and diverse space. In this new edition, the parallel section “Family Day-Out” returns, which as usual will be at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center, with a program of films for all ages. This is a free event. 

The festival concludes 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. The film tells the story of Don Mario who makes a pact with a witch. He asks her to save the life of his son Omar, but the witch sets a condition: if he saves the son, when he has a daughter and she reaches the age of 15, she is going to take her away. Don Mario accepts. Just as the witch predicted, Omar has a daughter named Sarah and in a few days she will be 15 years old. The witch goes after her and abducts her, the father chases the witch through the forest without success. Frustrated, he has to seek help from his father’s friend Pucho to face the evils and save his daughter before the witch completes her ritual. 

One of the most important goals of DFFNYC is to offer remarkable discussions and dialogues with filmmakers and talents, as well as a unique opportunity to personally converse with directors, actors, and producers. This year’s master classes, panels and workshops include: 

WORKSHOP: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING, THE SCRIPT 

Presented by: Violeta Lockhart 

THE CONFLICT IN THE SCRIPT AND THE LOOK OF THE CREATIVE PRODUCER IN CINEMA 

Presented by: Hugo Devana 

THE PROBLEM OF FILMING YOUR OPERA PRIMA 

Panelists: Ronny A. Sosa, Andres Farías 

ABOUT DFFNYC: 

The 10th annual Dominican Film Festival in New York (DFFNYC) will take place from November 9 to 14, 2021 under the theme: “Telling Our Own Stories.” The program includes a variety of film genres and formats, with films from Dominican Republic and / or co-produced in countries such as Colombia, Spain and the United States. The festival offers a platform for members of the Dominican film industry in which established and emerging filmmakers are presented where they can promote their work to the public, establishing to DFFNYC as a premier cultural event for New York City. 

Organized by Cine Art Entertainment Productions, the list of sponsors includes the Hon. Councilor Ydanis Rodríguez, Hon. Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Carmen de la Rosa, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Ford, Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago (Homs), Meta Integra, Chamber Commerce of Washington Heights & Inwood, Pix11, INTEC, Hispanic Federation, Dirección General de Cine (DGCINE). Additional sponsors are: Group CKV, Zabala al Dia, United Palace, FestcineRD- Dominican Film FestivalRD, Filmenal, La Casita de Producciones, Regal Cinemas, Presbyterian Hospital. DFFNYC 2021 media sponsors are: Telemicro, TV Quisqueya, Canal América, El Diario La Prensa, Manhattan Times, Other sponsors are: Ron Barceló, Arrow Wines, Alianza, Dominicana Cultural Center, Catholic Charities, Latin Fashion Week, Dominicanos USA (DUSA), Latino Social Media, New Yorkers, MC Media Capitol, IslandHub, NOT Line Dominican Content. 

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