II Dominican Republic Global Film Festival - 2008

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II Dominican Republic Global Film Festival - 2008
DRGFF at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival
Washington, DC, May 30, 2009
DRGFF Participates in 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
New York, April 22 - May 3, 2009
Dominican Republic Global Film Festival Website Honored by The Webby Awards in the Category of Events & Live Webcasts
New York, April 16, 2009
Download Your Own Version of the II Dominican Republic Global Film Festival Magazine
New York, April 15, 2009
Exclusive: The Makers of Sugar
March 30, 2009
DRGFF Supports Celebration of First Dominican Film Screening in Nagua
Santo Domingo, January 28, 2009
DRGFF Begins Its Journey to Visit World’s Most Renowned Film Festivals
Park City, Utah, January 26,
Iron Road and Emmanuel Jal: War Child Win Audience Awards
New York, December 18,
Dominican Republic Global Film Festival Participates in International Film Festival Summit
Santo Domingo, December 15, 2008
The Path to 2009
New York, December 1, 2008.
Baseball and film find perfect mix
Santo Domingo, December 2, 2008.
Music to Cure Your Soul at the Closure of the II Dominican Global Film Festival
Santo Domingo, November 24, 2008.
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II Dominican Republic Global Film Festival - 2008


Baseball and film find perfect mix
by Anna Marie De La Fuente
Santo Domingo, December 2, 2008

SugarTourists descend in droves but major league baseball scouts are also a common sight in the Dominican Republic as they trawl for fresh talent with the meanest curveball. The bulk of major league players in the U.S. reportedly hails from this baseball-obsessed Caribbean nation.

It was only fitting then that Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s baseball pic “Sugar” (pictured above) opened the second edition of the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival (DRGFF) on Wednesday, November 19.

DR President Leonel Fernandez and a who’s who of Major League players led by Sammy Sosa, David Ortiz, Pedro Martínez, and Damaso Marte joined 1,400 guests at the premiere.

Algenis PerezLatest pic from the “Half Nelson” team was shot on location for 11 days at the Dominican Republic, tapping local raw talent. “Sugar” lead Algenis Perez (pictured right) was number 452 out of 600 auditions, says Boden.

Fest is the brainchild of President Fernandez whose drive to foster education and the arts in the country has earned him widespread kudos. He presides over the non-profit foundation Funglode and its Washington DC and NY-based counterpart, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, which ran a pretty smooth event considering its fledgling status. Launched in 2006, last year’s fest was cancelled because of a hurricane.

Such was the power behind the fest that guests were whisked through customs and passport control as soon they stepped off the plane.

Fest’s theme of “Global issues, personal stories” ran throughout its selection of 26 pics and 10 docs. Features included “The Band’s Visit,” “Persepolis,” “Tropa Elite” and “Fados.” along with docus “Taxi to the Dark Side,” “Flow: For the love of water,” “Emmanuel Jal: War Child” and Madonna’s “I Am Because We Are.”

Screenings encompassed five cities at 10 venues in universities, cultural centers and malls.

More than 30,000 people attended the festival, tripling its 2006 attendance.

Keeping costs down were at least 200 keen volunteers, serving as guides (called “edecans”), drivers and ushers among myriad functions.

PanelistsParticipants in the various panels included helmers Brett Rattner and John Singleton, Dominican thesp Dania Ramirez (“Quarantine”), consultant Rob Aft, Venevision Int’l acquisitions head Millie Luna as well as film critics John Anderson and Julie Salamon. Arturo Rodriguez, who heads DR’s oldest film fest, the Muestra Int’l de Cine de Santo Domingo, also held forth at the film critics panel.

Fest also paid tribute to Elba McAllister, co-founder and prexy of leading Colombian indie distributor, Cineplex which has expanded its reach to Central America and plans to distribute pics in the Dominican Republic.

McAllister led a master class on distribution while Carlos Arguello, founder/head of animation/digital studio Studio C in Guatemala, held one on Animation and Special Effects.

Fest General Director Natasha Despotovic, who is of joint Croatian and Dominican nationality, presided over closing night on Monday, Nov. 23. Closing pic “Young@Heart,” which documents a Massachusetts choir of octogenarians, was the pitch perfect counterpoint to the festival’s celebration of youth and all its glorious potential.


II Dominican Republic Global Film Festival - 2008