The Dominican Republic Global Film Festival opens in Santiago With “Southern District”
Santo Domingo, November 19, 2010

Well known actors, national and international producers and representatives of the organizing committee paraded over the green carpet.

The Dominican Republic Global Film Festival also reached the city of Santiago, with an opening ceremony and the screening of the movie Southern District, winner of the World Best Dramatic Director and Best Screenplay at the 2010 Sundance Festival.

The opening gala was led by Yvette Marichal, the Festival’s director of public relations and marketing, who said that the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (FUNGLODE) is pleased by the warm reception of every edition by the public.

The green carpet at the IV Dominican Republic Global Film Festival (DRGFF) in this northern city, looked at its best due to the elegance and good taste of actors such as Johanny Sosa, Miguel Angel Martinez, and the cast of the reality show "Looking for Actors in the Northern Region, among others. The guests also wore their best fashion and their colorful outfits lit up the night.

The green carpet event seamlessly combined with the enthusiasm and joy that characterizes the people of Santiago. The event took place at the Centro Universitario Regional de Santiago (CURSA).

After the green carpet event, attendees had the opportunity to enjoy the presentation of the feature film "Southern District", by renowned Bolivian director Juan Carlos Valdivia.

The producer of the film, Joaquin Sanchez, who represented Valdivia, expressed his joy at being in the country and said that the film beautifully follows DRFF’s slogan "Global Issues, Personal Stories". After the screening, Sanchez responded to questions from the public, with whom he also exchanged viewpoints on the Seventh Art.

The event was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Culture in Santiago, Enegildo Peña, by the film critic Joseph D 'Laura, as well as actors, film critics, politicians, students and film buffs. Attendees expressed their satisfaction that the DRGFF is taking place and acknowledged its contribution to the Dominican cultural heritage.

The film

"Southern District" is about a family who must soon realize that the connection between their economic situation and their social status has been compromised, and that nothing will be as it once was, because there is a shift of power that can be felt in La Paz’s Southern District, where the elite resides. A mother and her three children live in a beautiful house on the outskirts of the city along with two indigenous servants. The mother struggles with money and love in favor for his oldest son, who is an irresponsible young man, obsessed with sex and parties. Her daughter is in the midst of a sexual identity crisis and Andres, the youngest child daydreams about his life.

This film was also selected to represent Bolivia in the category of Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in 2010.

The director, Juan Carlos Valdivia, also wrote the screenplay, which delicately depicts social change and the new political current that has been brewing in Latin America in recent years.

Valdivia began his career with the film "Jonah and the Pink Whale" and “American Visa", a story of love and drug trafficking that shook Bolivian cinema at the time. After a career in Mexico, Valdivia returns to Bolivia to work in a wide range of audiovisual projects with his production company Cinenómoda.

Southern District was also produced by Gabriela Maire. Paul de Lumen was in charge of cinematography; Ivan Layme did the edition and Cergio Prudencio the music. The cast is made of: Nippon del Castillo, Pascual Loayza, Nicolás Fernández, Juan Pablo Koria and Mariana Vargas.

DRGFF is dedicated to filmmaker and film critic Dominican Arturo Rodríguez Fernández, and apart from movies it will offer the public panels, workshops, lectures on different aspects of film production, by national and international guests. The closing of the Festival will be on November 22nd. It takes place in Santo Domingo, Cap Cana, Higüey, Nagua, Puerto Plata and Port au Prince, Haiti.

By: Leonardo Taveras

See more photos on the Gallery of Photos, Nov. 19>