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Green Carpet Rolled Out to Inaugurate Sixth Edition of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival 2016

September 14, 2016

The Agora Mall hosted the opening ceremony of the DREFF, ushering in 6 full days of environmental films being shown in 11 cities around the country, with 45 films in 140 free screenings. More than 40 international guests are in town for the event, which also includes panels and community activities for everyone.

Santo Domingo- Under this year’s slogan, “Yo soy sostenible,” the sixth edition of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival ( was inaugurated on Tuesday September 13 in Santo Domingo with a screening of the documentary The True Cost and a magnificent celebration of sustainable fashion in the Agora Mall, complete with a green carpet. The Film Festival, to last until September 18, will take place in 11 cities around the Dominican Republic, including Santo Domingo, Santiago, Baní, Puerto Plata/Sosúa, San Juan de la Maguana, La Vega, Samaná, Hermanas Mirabel, Bonao, Punta Cana and La Romana in over 40 cinemas and screening rooms.

Activities started off with a cocktail party and a sustainable fashion show organized by this year’s special guest, Gina Constanza, Dominican-born New York designer and founder of EcoFashion in the Park. Twenty models delighted the audience with the beauty and originality of their outfits, as they kicked off the sustainable fashion show in the lobby of the Agora Mall. Created in October 2015 with children from various sectors of Santo Domingo, especially vulnerable neighborhoods, the Children’s Choir of the Narciso Gonzalez Cultural Center delighted the audience with beautiful songs about nature.

Gina Constanza brought some of her designs from New York, which were worn by models from the Dominican Modelle Academia de Refinamiento agency and Nereyda Bravo Modelling agency, with makeup done by Joaquín Santana of Beautiful Face and Laura Molina. ReCrearte, an initiative of DREFF and GFDD/ Funglode, provided fashion accessories made from natural, recycled materials that complemented the models’ clothing. Caridad Javier, Johanna Rivera, Soraya Torres and Lucía Martes, all ReCrearte students, made beautiful pieces from recycled materials especially for the occasion. ReCrearte program coordinator Bertha Santana also showed off some of her personal designs, including a gown she made from discarded fabric.

The film chosen for the opening ceremony, The True Cost, is about clothing: the clothes we use, the people who make them and the impact the industry is having on the planet. The price of clothing has declined over the past several decades while human and environmental costs have dramatically increased. The True Cost is a revolutionary documentary that reveals this hidden story and asks us to consider: who really pays the price for our clothing?

The DREFF 2016 also paid special recognition to Fashion Revolution with the Colibri Award.  Two representatives from the organization accepted the award and will remain in the country for the entire Film Festival. Marina Spadafora is Fashion Revolution coordinator in Italy and a member of its Global Advisory Committee and Zaida Goveo Balmaseda is their coordinator in Puerto Rico.

International and national environmental experts, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations and participants of all ages filled the Film Palace in the Agora Mall.

Natasha Despotovic, Executive Director of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Director of the DREFF, gave the welcoming speech in which she thanked the more than 70 organizations that made it possible for the DREFF to once again take place in 11 cities around the country. She mentioned the Embassies of the United States, Germany and Italy in the Dominican Republic as well as Timberland, Centro Cuesta Nacional, CEDAF, FUNIBER and the INICIA Group.

Ms. Despotovic especially greeted the National and International DREFF Advisory Committee and the Dominican Minister of Environment, Francisco Domínguez Brito; German Ambassador Sabine Bloch; and Director of Funglode, Marco Herrera, who were among the personalities who attended the inaugural ceremony .Despotovic also thanked for their attendance Timberland representatives Colleen Vien and Pedro Jiménez who had a few words for the audience.

As the evening continued, Ms. Despotovic invited representatives of Fashion Revolution to the stage where she honored them with the Colibri Award, in special recognition for the organization’s “commitment to sustainable fashion and hard work in support of an industry that is more transparent, supportive and respectful to human beings and the environment.”

About the DREFF
Since its creation in 2011, the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival has been providing Dominicans with a platform of knowledge and debate on the environment and sustainable development, as well as examples of best practices to achieve them, while celebrating the unique beauty and natural heritage of the Dominican Republic. With a wide selection of documentaries and numerous panel discussions, workshops, seminars and community activities, the DREFF seeks to promote dialogue and the exchange of knowledge and experience with the goal of encouraging Dominicans to take measures that will contribute to the appreciation, conservation and sustainable use of the country’s unique natural resources. /
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Since the inception of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) in 2011, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) has created and developed 6 year-round programs that make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of the Dominican Republic.

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