Somos parte de:

Yolanda León: “Illegal Coal Exploitation and Massive Deforestation Negatively Affects Whole Planet”

September 17, 2016

APEC University hosts screening of Death by a Thousand Cuts and one of its directors, Jake Kheel

Santo Domingo – APEC University welcomed film director/producer and vice president of Fundación Grupo Puntacana, Jake Kheel, at a screening of Death by a Thousand Cuts on September 15, 2016.  This event was part of the activities around the 6th edition of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF).

María Victoria Abreu, director of Programming for the DREFF, thanked students, teachers and dozens of film buffs at APEC University for their support. She said DREFF’s commitment to caring for the environmental and sustainability throughout these past six years will continue for many years to come. She stressed that, “it is everyone’s job. We must unite our voices and spread the word about the conservation of our environment…that it it something we must do, with love, every day of our lives.”

After this, Jake Kheel thanked the DREFF for inviting him to be a participant with his film, adding that it will soon be shown on Univision and in Dominican theaters.

Death by a Thousand Cuts, by Jake Kheel and Juan Mejia Botero, is a story about the sad reality along the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

At the end of the screening, Yolanda León, an activist and defender of natural resources in the Dominican Republic who played an important role in the film, shared the stage with Jake Kheel and opened the floor to questions and answers from the audience.

“The illegal exploitation of coal and massive deforestation is hurting everyone, everywhere on the planet. Nevertheless, these days, it is an activity that generates a lot of money. And not just coal…there are intermediaries and the truck owners. It seems that in Haiti it is necessary to pay a type of toll for each bag, whether to the governor or the mayor of the district. So those people have an interest in keeping it going, because it benefits them. For that reason, it is not so easy to stop. Sorry to say,” said Ms. León, who is also a professor at INTEC University.

The audience continued to express their comments and questions about this interesting film.

“It took us four years to make the film, during which time we visited the countryside that had been turned into a desert along the border. Why so long? Because we had budget issues and also because we were filming in remote places such as Puerto Escondido where information is scarce and rumors abound. Some said we were filming because someone who didn’t like them had sent us. So, it wasn’t totally complicated but it wasn’t easy,” said Kheel.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Department of Social Sciences of APEC, María Margarita Cordero, said APEC had been waiting for this moment for more than two years, for the release of this important film production. She also very kindly thanked the DREFF for positively contributing to the lives of Dominicans, especially the young people.

“We reaffirm our commitment to take care of our natural resources. That is why we are always attentive to the activities sponsored by DREFF, in the hope of always having screenings here,” said Ms. Cordero. “This is how we accumulate knowledge and experience. Thank you to the DREFF 2016 team for such a great initiative!”

Finally, Jake Kheel reiterated his gratitude to the audience and took the opportunity to invite them to continue being transmitters of the message by informing their friends and family about the movie and attending the theaters where it will be shown commercially on October 7th.

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.

More Information

Sponsors and Collaborators

We thank our partners, sponsors, collaborators and friends.

© Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) - All Rights Reserved