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GFDD and DREFF Bring Incredible Dominican Environmental Stories to Washington, DC!

March 19, 2018

Washington, D.C. – The Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), and its Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF), hosted the annual Dominican Night at the D.C. Environmental Film Festival (DCEFF) on Monday, March 19.

As DCEFF partners and co-members of the Green Film Network, GFDD/DREFF celebrated this special evening by featuring a special program titled “Local Stories of Environmental Success:  The 2018 Dominican Night at DCEFF,” an event that introduced two new Dominican films on the environment to the prestigious Washington, D.C. festival.

The screening, held at the E Street Cinema, featured the short film “Aristolochias of Haiti,” directed by award-winning Dominican conservationist and photographer Eladio Fernández.  The film takes the viewer to Haiti on an expedition to find a new species of the Aristolochia Indica (Pipe Vine), which has not been seen in the Caribbean nation for some 90 years.

Following Fernández’ short film, the screening continued with the feature documentary “Cacú: Un Cambio por la Vida” (Cacú: A Change for Life”), directed by photojournalist Marvin del Cid.  The documentary features five fishermen from the underprivileged community of Manresa, situated on the southwest section of Santo Domingo, who transitioned from being sea turtle nest predators to full-fledged conservationists.

Their four-year transformation process was spearheaded by marine biologist Omar Shamir Reynoso who developed a one-of-a-kind plan in the Dominican Republic to bring together fishermen and communities to work on conservationist efforts.

After the screening, Marvin del Cid and Omar Shamir Reynoso led an active Q & A session.  During the segment, a member of the audience expressed: “Uplifting! A great story worthy of being replicated at other communities around the world!”

This 26th Annual DC Environmental Film Festival will honor environmental heroes through its “Stories from the Frontlines” initiative.  Whether it pertains to wildlife conservation, habitat protection, clean drinking water or clean air, all Festival films and speakers will feature the actions and passion of those who are working on the battle lines to protect and preserve the environment for today’s and future generations.

A Discussion on Environmental Activism and Journalism
In addition to Dominican Night on Tuesday, March 20, the GFDD and DREFF hosted a special side event as part of DCEFF’s program on “Environmental Journalism and Activism:  Creating and Sharing the Frontline Stories.”  Dominican nature photographer and activist, Eladio Fernandez and Guatemalan-Dominican photojournalist Marvin del Cid, along with Dominican biologist Omar Shamir Reynoso shared their experiences with international filmmakers, journalists, activists and experts from all over the world.

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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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