September 4-8, 2013

Panel / Discussion Session

Otter 501

Friday, September 6th at 10:00 AM Santo Domingo, FUNGLODE

Topic of panel:

Why Save Endangered Species?


Say “cheese” mother earth! - Nature Photography

Friday, September 6th at 4:00 pm Santo Domingo, FUNGLODE


Go Wild with GoPro!

Saturday, September 7th at 4:00 pm Santo Domingo, FUNGLODE

Panel / Discussion Session

Globo Verde Dominicano Award

Saturday, September 7 at 8 PM Santo Domingo, FUNGLODE

Topic of panel:

Environmental film: An Effective Tool for Eco Education

Panels / Discussion Session, Workshops and
Master Classes

As part of its 2013 Environmental Film Festival, the DREFF
has organized panel discussions with filmmakers and experts on key issues such as
Sustainable Development, Biodiversity, Oceans, Green Economy and Climate Change.

Globo Verde Dominicano Award

Topic of panel:
Environmental film: An Effective Tool for Eco Education

Saturday, September 7 at 7 PM
Santo Domingo, FUNGLODE

The celebration of DREFF’s 3rd anniversary is an opportunity for us to take a step back and reflect on the significance of the increasing presence of environmental film festivals across the globe. Whether they are premised on the notion that stories move people rather than issues, or whether they are focused on discussion around a specific problem, these festivals all share a common goal: to educate their audiences about environmental issues. This workshop brings together several experts to discuss the importance and effectiveness of these festivals as an educational tool. In doing so, we will unveil the techniques and resources used by organizers to stimulate their audience members and guide them towards a more harmonious relationship with their environment.

Maribel Guevara, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
Susan Conlon & Kim Dorman, Princeton Environmental Film Festival
Jaume Gil I Llopart, Festival Internacional de Cinema del Medi Ambient (FICMA-Barcelona)
Richard Miron, Yale Environmental Film Festival

Sacred Science

Topic of panel:
Traditional Medicines' Contribution to Mainstream Healthcare

Wednesday, September 4th at 4 PM
Santo Domingo, UNPHU, Salón de conferencias

Viernes, 6 de septiembre a las 9:30 AM
San Francisco de Macorís, UCNE, Salón de conferencias, Biblioteca Nazario Rizek-Badia Llabaly

Sacred Science is the story of eight individuals, suffering from varying illnesses, who venture deep into the Amazon jungle in search of healing. Their search and experiences serve as the basis for a fascinating discussion on Ethnobotany- the scientific study of the relationships between people and plants. Traditional use of plants as medicine predates written human history, going back as far as 5000 BC when humans created clay tablets with lists of hundreds of medicinal plants. To underscore the importance of this topic, a diverse panel of experts (ranging from the field of anthropology to alternative medicine) has been assembled to explore and discuss the history, uses and role medicinal plants play in today’s medical health approach.

Ricardo García, Director of the Botanical Garden
Brígido Peguero, Manager of Research and Exploration for Botanical Garden
Lenin Paulino, special programs coordinator for Chavón Museum
Cristiana Cruz Minier, Coordinator of EcoHuertos Program
Maria del Mar Gonzalez Tejera, biologa
Raul Fontana

What Would Darwin Think? Man vs. Nature in the Galapagos

Topic of panel:
How “ecofriendly” is ecotourism?

Friday, September 6th at 7:00 PM
Puerto Plata, Universidad UTESA

Saturday, September 7th at 11:00 AM
San Francisco de Macorís -UCNE, Salón de conferencia, Biblioteca Nazario Rizek-Badia LLabaly

Ecotourism is a form of tourism that is minimally disruptive to the natural and cultural setting in which it occurs. Promoters of eco-tourism encourage increasing ecological and socio-cultural awareness and behavior among tourists. But what happens when ecotourism destinations become so popular that the crowds they attract are harming the very habitats and social structures they are meant to protect?

Join the Director of What Would Darwin Think? Man vs. Nature in the Galapagos, and Maribel Guevara, Program Associate of the Washington DC Environmental Film, in a discussion on the challenges and opportunities faced by some of the world’s most visited ecotourism sites. Examine how development of a properly enforced planning process within this industry can help better protect these delicate ecosystems.

Jon Bowermaster, Oceans expert and National Geographic adventurer
Maribel Guevara, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
José Alejandro Álvarez, underwater photographer

Money & Life

Discussion Session:
Questioning the Use and Value of Money

Wednesday, September 4th 6:00 PM
Santo Domingo, UNPHU

Thursday, September 5th at 7: 30 PM
Puerto Plata, Universidad O&M

Friday, September 6th at 11:00 AM
San Francisco de Macorís, Salón de conferencias, Biblioteca Nazario Rizek-Badia Llabaly

What is money? Was there ever a time when money did not exist in society? How has money’s role evolved and how did it become such a symbol of success? These are just some of the questions addressed in this refreshing documentary on the past, present and future of money and its role in today’s society.

Following the screening, join Scott Morris for a lively discussion on how humans are rediscovering local bartering systems and other innovative ways of working and living without standard forms of money. Mr. Morris, Founder & President of myLocal Cooperative, will discuss his organization’s “Hero Rewards Program,” a barter system that promotes the value of local products and services as a commodity by giving access to exclusive promotions from merchant members in return for volunteer actions. The program seeks to build a robust platform where communities can have conversations, build trust with one another and self-organize into a new economy and new wealth.

Scott Morris, New Economist & Currency System Strategist

Otter 501

Topic of panel:
Why Save Endangered Species?

Wednesday, September 4th 4:00 PM
Santo Domingo, Biblioteca Infantil y Juvenil

Thursday, September 5th at 10:30 AM
Baní, Centro Cultural Perelló

Friday, September 6th at 10:00 AM
Santo Domingo, FUNGLODE

Otter 501 chronicles the remarkable true story of an orphaned sea otter, less than a week old when he washed ashore on the Northern California coast. While the film focuses on the baby otter’s struggle for survival and human efforts to bring the species back from the brink of extinction, it also serves as a backdrop for a more general, but no less important question: Why should we protect endangered species?

The Dominican Republic has the unique distinction of being one of only 25 Biodiversity Hotspots in the world (the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth). Following the screening, stay and talk with the director and leading actress of Otter 501, and local experts who will discuss preservation efforts to save endangered species and how the loss of biodiversity affects our planet and the existence of all who inhabit it.

Mark Shelley, Executive Producer Otter 501
Katie Pohfal, Leading Actress Otter 501
Yolanda León, INTEC/Grupo Jaragua
Sixto J. Incháustegui, Grupo Jaragua
Nelson Bautista, founding member of Sociedad Ecológica del Cibao (SOECI)
Mercedes Peguero, Vice-Ministry of Protected Areas and Biodiversity
Brigido Hierro, Vice-Ministry of Protected Areas and Biodiversity
Marina Hernández, Vice-Ministry of Protected Areas and Biodiversity

Planet Ocean

Topic of panel:
Are the Oceans on the Brink of Collapse?

Thursday, September 5th at 6: 30 PM
Baní, Centro Cultural Perelló

Saturday, September 7th at 7:00 PM
Galerias PuntaCana

The world's oceans - their temperature, chemistry, currents and life - drive global systems that make Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea.

As human populations have grown, the world’s oceans have faced unprecedented levels of overfishing, pollution, unplanned coastal development and problems related to climate change such as rising sea levels and ocean acidification. Many marine scientists consider overfishing and ocean acidification to be the greatest of these threats.

Overfishing has led to the disappearance of 90% of big fish from the world's oceans and, in some cases, caused the collapse of entire fisheries. Oceans have become 30% more acidic since the Industrial Revolution. These heightened levels threaten the growth and reproduction of coral reefs and other marine organisms such as phytoplankton.

Following the screening of the film, join a discussion with ocean experts to find out more about the declining health of the oceans and what can be done to prevent their collapse.

Cedric Javanaud, Goodplanet Foundation
Ruben Torres, President of ReefCheck Dominican Republic
Otto Cordero, Vice-Ministry of Coastal and Marine Resources

Films Trashed and Bag it!

Topic of panel:
Confronting the Trash Epidemic

Wednesday, September 4th at 10 AM
Santo Domingo, FUNGLODE

Thursday, September 5th at 7: 00 PM
Santiago, Centro León

Friday, September 6th at 5 PM
Santo Domingo, Palacio del Cine

In the USA alone, over half a billion tons of trash is generated annually. In the face of similarly staggering statistics from around the world, Trashed attempts to offer solutions as it considers ways to reduce our consumption, particularly of plastic, which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose and can potentially leak pollutants into the soil and water.

Join an all-local panel of experts, activists, corporate and Dominican advocacy groups who are working to reduce the impact of the residual waste problem. Also learn how to adopt the 3 Rs of residual waste and find new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in your daily lives.

Ginny Heinsen de Freites, Director of 3 R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Program for the Agricultural and Forestry Development Center (CEDAF)
Maritza Frías, Operations Manager of 3Rs Program (CEDAF)
Delly Méndez, Vice-Ministry of Environmental Management
Julio Ortiz, Vice-Ministry of Environmental Management
José Dolores Hernández, Sociedad Ecológica del Cibao (SOECI)
Lorna Aquino, Executive Director, Green Love
Nicolás Mendoza, FUNDAZURZA
Carlos Díaz, Recicladora del Cibao

Mother: Caring for 7 Billion

Topic of panel:
Over-Population: A Threat to Sustainable Development

Wednesday, September 4th at 6:00 PM
Santo Domingo, Palacio del Cine, Ágora Mall: Sala 1

Thursday, September 5th at 3:00 PM
San Francisco de Macorís, UCNE, Sala Principal Teatro UCNE

Since the 1960s, the world population has nearly doubled, placing an unprecedented burden on the life system we depend on as our numbers pass the 7 billion mark. This was the focus of the most recent UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) population report, which recognized that population dynamics, including growth rates, age structure, fertility, mortality and migration have a profound effect on every aspect of human, social and economic progress.

Immediately following the screening, the film’s director and producer will join UN officials to share and discuss outcomes from the population report and to answer questions from the audience.

Cristophe Fauchere, Director Mother: Caring for 7 Billion
Producer of Mother: Caring for 7 Billion
Jeremy Freehill, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in the Dominican Republic

Voices of Transition

Topic of panel:
In Transition-From oil dependence to Local Resilience

Thursday, September 5th 4:00 PM
Santo Domingo, UNPHU, Salón de Conferencias

Friday, September 6th at 7:00 PM
Santiago, Centro León

The incredible leaps in technology and industrial efficiency seen in the last century have come at a cost: our earth’s precious natural resources. With explosive population growth around the globe, the earth’s supplies of fuel, arable land and other essential elements necessary to sustain life on the planet are dwindling. The term “peak oil,” that refers to the point at which the world’s oil supplies go into irreversible decline, has been the source of a long-running argument. Unfortunately, it has not yet had much impact on energy policy. In the face of a rapidly changing climate and an escalating food and water crisis brought about by intense resource inconsiderate anthropogenic activity, it is becoming clear that we need to transition away from this over reliance on fossil fuels to a more self-sufficient economy. A multitude of technological advances exist today to enable us to address this imbalance and protect future generations; some of these are renewable energy sources and sustainable farming techniques. But it is up to each and every one of us to make this change.

Join us after the screening for a candid discussion on the urgency of re-educating populations in the DR and abroad on the importance of re-thinking our current consumption levels and on discovering alternative means of meeting the planet’s energy and nutritional goals.

Nils Aguilar, Director of Voices in Transition
Cristiana Cruz Minier, EcoHuertos Program Coordinator
Luis Polanco, Director of Sociedad Ecológica del Cibao (SOECI)

A Thirsty World

Topic of panel:
Peak Water: Protecting our fresh water supply

Thursday, September 5th at 6: 00 PM
Santo Domingo, UNPHU, Salón de Conferencias

Saturday, September 7th at 4:00 PM
Santiago, Centro León

With water already in short supply for more than 20 percent of the world, exacerbated by increasing populations, pollution, waste, and climate change, no one can afford to take freshwater for granted. A Thirsty World reveals the mysterious and fascinating world of fresh water through spectacular aerial images shot in difficult to reach and rarely filmed regions, like Southern Sudan or Northern Congo, to spotlight people engaged in the daily struggle to find water, purify it or bring it to those who need it.

Climate change has led to a shift in water patterns, which along with rapid population growth and increasing misuse of our water resources, has led many to believe that water will soon represent the next oil. On that basis, a diverse panel of water experts has been assembled to discuss what can be done to ensure future generations face a reliable freshwater future.

Cedric Javanaud, Goodplanet Foundation
Professor Lourdes Tapia, PUCMM
Gladys Rosado, Center for Marine Biology Research CIBIMA/UASD
Luis Reyes, Center for Marine Biology Research- CIBIMA/UASD
Julio Suero

Minds in the Water

Topic of panel:
Protecting the ocean and its inhabitants

Thursday, September 5th at 7:00PM
Sosúa, Bay Grand Casino

Friday, September 6 at 6:30 PM
Baní, Centro Cultural Perelló

Minds in the Water is an award winning documentary following the quest of professional surfer Dave Rastovich and his friends to protect dolphins, whales and the oceans they all share. The dolphins and whales that inhabit the world’s oceans form part of a delicate ecosystem that is increasingly under attack. As humans, it is our responsibility, whatever our position in life, to ensure that the planet’s marine life is protected, either through individual efforts or by inspiring others to become responsible stewards of the oceans around the globe.

After the short film, there will be a discussion on the importance of Marine Protected Areas and how fishermen, and everyone who makes their living from the oceans, can enjoy sustainable livelihoods working within these models of conservation in the DR and globally.

Jon Bowermaster, oceans expert and National Geographic adventurer
Maribel Guevara, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
Oswaldo Vasquez, ATEMAR
Manuel Rodríguez, Sosua Marine Park Manager
Cristiana de la Rosa, Manager of Department for Coastal and Marine Restoration, Ministry of the Environment

Friday, September 6th at 4:00 pm
Santo Domingo, FUNGLODE

Say “cheese” mother earth! - Nature Photography

Nature photography is one of the most valuable ways of arousing emotions, interest and, above all, the importance of nature. Aesthetically pleasing images reflect the connection between human beings and wildlife although there are numerous challenges involved in capturing them properly. Come and learn how to identify issues and stories. You can get advice on planning your excursion or how to publish what you’ve done. Share the experiences of two of the most important conservation and nature photographers in the Dominican Republic.

About the Panelists:

Eladio Fernández is a conservation photographer, a naturalist and an editorial producer of photography and illustrated children’s books.

Eladio holds one of the most extensive image banks on the landscapes, flora and fauna of the Greater Antilles. His photographs have been published in the “Wildlife As Canon Sees It “ad campaign for National Geographic, and in Condor, Nature Conservancy and Living Bird, among others. His images are represented by NHPA stock agency.

He currently produces books for a series of local and international corporate sponsors. Among his titles in print are: “Hispaniola: A Photograhic Journey Through Island Biodiversity” (Grupo SID / Harvard University Press, 2007), “Orchids of the Dominican Republic and Haiti” (AMCHAM 2007), “Jamaica: A Photographic Journey Through The Land of Wood and Water” (IMCA 2008), “Cuba, un encuentro con su naturaleza” (IMCA 2010) y “Reserva Cientifica Ebano Verde, un encuentro con la naturaleza” (APAP 2010).

Eladio is co-author, together with Steve Latta and Chris Rimmer (et Al), of the field guide “Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti” (Princeton University Press, 2006).

José Alejandro Álvarez is an award-winning underwater photographer from the Dominican Republic, who has worked worldwide in some of the most beautiful and exiting ocean spots. Lately he has also become involved in the conservation of the marine ecosystems of his home country, using his images to raise awareness about conservation issues. Starting with scuba diving he developed his passion for underwater photography. He took photos in spectacular and extraordinary places as Isla del Coco, Malpeo, Fiji, Bali, Wkatobi, Caicos, Cozumel to name only a few. Álvarez is a founder member of the Fundación Espeleobuceo Hispaniola and member of the directors board of Reef Check Dominican Republic. In addition, he is co-author of the book Cuevas Sumergidas de la República Dominicana and author of the book Mar Azul.

Saturday, September 7th at 10:00 am


Can you imagine a lamp made out of a plastic bottle, or that your new favorite purse could be made out of paper? Recycling is about finding an alternative and transforming used materials into new objects, which would otherwise be nothing but garbage. Within art, recycling is a new means of expression, which many artists have embraced as a way to give something back to the environment, inspired on what they know how to do best. Join us in this workshop and learn how to take advantage of the things you are about to throw away, transforming them into new objects with an entirely different use to what you originally purchased them for.

About the Panelists:

Bertha Santana was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic where she spent lots of time in the countryside with her grandparents and developed a deep love of nature.

She worked at the airport in Puerto Plata where her job was maintaining green spaces and dealing with the trash produced in the terminal and on the airplanes. Later in Santo Domingo, she worked with the organizations responsible for collecting the city’s trash. In 2000, she discovered her creative vocation and began to make art from discarded trash. Since then, this self-taught artist has worked passionately, finding answers to questions as she creates each piece of artwork. Although it was never her intention to make this her profession, she was captivated by the magic of seeing trash being turned into precious objects of art.

In the past 12 years, she has delved into research about the environmental impact of the garbage we accumulate at home, work and industrial sites. Bertha travels to small towns and communities where residents are making their daily lives more environmentally friendly by creating, with their own hands, useful and decorative objects that might also serve to supplement their incomes.

Bertha is currently completing a degree in Psychology and a certification on group management.

Saturday, September 7th at 4:00 pm
Santo Domingo, FUNGLODE

Go Wild with GoPro!

GoPro is the most versatile, high definition camera that has come out in the last several years. For travel, documentaries or just for fun, it is one of the main tools used by athletes, photographers and filmmakers.

Bring your GoPro and learn everything, from its most basic functions to how to edit your film with Cineform Studio and make your videos the most sought-after on social media.

About the Panelists:

Chris y Caleb Farro
Before becoming true experts in GoPro snow edits, traveling the world and making the most viewed videos on the Internet, twin brothers Chris (GoPro assistant brand manager) and Caleb (extreme environments filmmaker) filmed the classic USC Ski and Snowboard videos. Their work, seen by millions, is available on YouTube and

Chris and Caleb will teach you the tricks of the trade to perfect your videos and, almost as importantly, how to get the most out of social media networks so your videos will be seen by the widest possible audiences.

Master Classes

Photography with Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Sunday, September 8th, 4:00 pm
Santo Domingo - Auditorio de FUNGLODE

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, born in France, is a well-known photographer, journalist and environmentalist who has been involved in wildlife protection for many years. After having worked as a photojournalist with several prestigious magazines, he decided to look at the world from a different angle – from above. In 1991, he founded the Altitude Agency which was the world’s first press agency specializing in aerial photography. By 1994, he began a thorough study on the state of the Earth, using aerial photos he’d taken from helicopters and hot-air balloons. This project resulted in the book, Earth from Above, the photos from which have been exhibited around the world.

Two of his films, Planet Ocean and A Thirsty World are showing at this year’s DREFF.

He will surely have stories to tell, questions to answer and lots of advice to impart in this Master Class.

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