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February 29, 2016

Dominican Night at the 2016 Environmental Film Festival at the Nation`s Capital


As part of the 2016 Environmental Film Festival at the Nation`s Capital (DCEFF) program, a Dominican Night will be hosted by DREFF on March 18th at the Hispanic Gala Theater in Washington, D.C. This opportunity is precious in fostering GFDD’s aim of facilitating the enrichment of the film culture of the Dominican Republic and bringing its unique brand of cinema to a wider international audience.

The Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) has been closely collaborating with the DCEFF for five years now. As expressed by the words of Natasha Despotovic, executive director of GFDD and DREFF, “We greatly appreciate our collaborative relationship with our friends at DCEFF. In fact, they inspired us for the creation of our own festival, the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival”.

The three Dominican films that will be screened at the Dominican Night are: Value of Life (last GFDD production), 7 Gramos (winner of the 2015 Globo Verde Dominicano Award), and Reserva de la Biosfera:  Jaragua, Bahoruco, Enriquillo (directed by Máximo José Rodríguez).

“We are proud to present, once again, productions made in the Dominican Republic by Dominican filmmakers before an exquisite international public. On this occasion, in addition to the GFDD’s production, we will be introducing an emerging young talent and paying tribute to a veteran of the camera”.

The evening will be presented by Despotovic along with the directors of 7 Gramos, Jonatán Vila and Hadzael Gómez, and the wife of recently deceased Rodriguez, who will receive a posthumous tribute.  In addition to having been a great friend and collaborator, Rodríguez was a member of the DREFF National Advisory Committee. “A generous human being, Máximo used his extraordinary talent, dedication, and passion to develop documentary film productions that captured the beauty, diversity, and natural wealth of Dominican Republic”, underlines the executive director of GFDD.

About the movies
Value of Life
This production, directed by Despotovic, is GFDD’s most recent short movie. Historically, little value is placed on natural capital when looking at growth equations and socioeconomic development. It is difficult for big businesses, and more so for ordinary people, to quantify the significance of natural resources and make the value of nature tangible in our daily lives. The production responds to those questions: How much is the natural capital of the Dominican Republic worth? How do we put a price on the ecosystem the planet has given us and that allows us to survive?

As Despotovic explains “GFDD, making environmental films, encourages other Dominican directors to follow their steps, promoting sustainable development in the country”.

7 Gramos
This film is the winner of the 2015 edition of DREFF’s Globo Verde Dominicano Award (part of the DREFF programs) and is based on a true story.

The story takes place in a small rural community in the Dominican Republic, and recounts the life of a Hispaniolan Emerald (one of the smallest birds in the world, endemic species) who decides to build her nest and lay her eggs in a support pillar of a school building under construction. After two weeks, her little chicks hatch. Along with their mother, the chicks begin their daily routine. Meanwhile, the construction workers, in order to finish their job, must decide whether to leave the birds’ nest where it is, or remove it.

Reserva de la Biosfera: Jaragua, Bahoruco, Enriquillo
In 2002, Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo was declared a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Reserva de la Biosfera: Jaragua, Bahoruco y Enriquillo is a series of three documentaries on these areas: the Jaragua National Park, a wonderful combination of beauty and biodiversity; the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, a natural symbol of the Dominican nation; and Lake Enriquillo and Cabritos Island, a unique landscape of this side of the island’s geography. This zone, with a total surface area of 5,770 km², includes unique landscapes of extraordinary beauty, impressive biodiversity consisting of the most diverse coastal, marine and land ecosystems, high level of regional endemism of flora and fauna and invaluable genetic resources.

Since its creation 2011, the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF)- an initiative of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode) -has been providing Dominicans with a platform of knowledge and debate on the environment and sustainable development, along with its challenges and best practices while celebrating the unique beauty and wealth that is the Dominican Republic’s natural heritage.

The Environmental Film Festival at the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premiere showcase of environmentally themed films. Each March in Washington, DC, the Festival presents more than 150 films to an audience of over 33,000. DCEFF program includes thematic discussions and social events, film screenings at museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters. Founded in 1993, DCEFF is the largest and longest-standing environmental film festival in the United States. It has grown into a major collaborative cultural event both during the festival and all year round.

When: Friday, March 18th 2016. 7:00pm
Where: Gala Hispanic Theatre, Washington D.C.

Open and free to all audiences

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