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Environmental Film Festival Tribute to Dominican Filmmakers at DREFF 2016

September 17, 2016

Globo Verde Dominicano Awards were handed out during the event and Death by a Thousand Cuts, co-directed and produced by Jake Kheel, was also screened.

Santo Domingo – Funglode opened its doors this evening to host a film and environmental celebration with the Dominican Republic and its filmmakers as protagonists. During the evening, attended by Dr. Leonel Fernandez, president of Funglode and GFDD, the Globo Verde Dominicano 2016 Awards were handed out in the categories of Short Film, Public Service Announcement, Junior and Photography. Numerous personalities from the world of film and culture were present along with international guests from all over the world.

The winners are:

Public Service Announcement
Haz tu parte (Do Your Part) : Natalie Suriel Modesto

Short Film
Ciclos (Cycles): Apostador (Pseudonym)

GVD Junior
Agua y contaminación (Water and Contamination): Diana Virginia Alonso Martí

Reciclaje por comida (Recycle for Food):  Ben Duran

Natasha Despotovic, Executive Director of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Director of the DREFF, explained that the Globo Verde Dominicano Award is the only national competition in the production of audiovisuals that deal with environmental issues. “This competition provides opportunities for Dominican talent while raising awareness of environmental issues and sustainable development.” Dr. Fernández took the stage to hand out the awards to the respective winners.

Afterwards, tribute was paid to two of the most prominent filmmakers of the Dominican Republic: the recently deceased Máximo José Rodríguez and Fernando Báez, whose extraordinary contributions were not just to Dominican film but they also promoted environmental awareness and sustainable development.

The evening ended with a screening of Death by a Thousand Cuts, co-directed by Jake Kheel (who is also the vice president of the Fundación Grupo Punta Cana) and Colombian Juan Mejía Botero. In Death by a Thousand Cuts, Eligio Eloy Vargas, alias Melaneo, a Dominican Park Ranger in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park is found brutally murdered by machete. Melaneo was believed to have been on patrol investigating illegal charcoal production by Haitians working within the protected Dominican forests. This murder becomes the metaphor for the larger story of increasing tension between Haiti and the Dominican Republic over illicit charcoal exploitation and large-scale deforestation. As in so many global struggles for natural resources, the fight for survival leads to scapegoating, xenophobia and clashes between communities

Jake Kheel, a leader in the field of sustainable development, was present in the audience and shared his experiences of more than 10 years of research on the subject.

Yo soy sostenible Competition
Winners of the DREFF national social networks competition, “Yo Soy Sostenible,” were also announced. Since April 30, the contest received videos and photographic entries from all around the country. Hundreds of participants shared their favorite images of the Dominican Republic’s environment on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, and invited their friends and followers to see them. The photos and videos show environmental protection in action (beach cleanups, recycling, etc.) with the hashtags #YoSoySostenible and  #DREFF, with reference to @MuestraCine and @DominicanaOnline.

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. /
Twitter @MuestraCine / Facebook MuestraCineMedioambiental
#DREFF & #YoSoySostenible

DREFF’s Programs
Throughout the Year

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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