Filmmakers Thank President Fernandez for the Film Industry Promotion Law at a Meeting in the Juan Bosch Library
Santo Domingo, June 14, 2011

Hours after the emission of the Decree that officially puts into effect the Film Industry Promotion Law in the Dominican Republic, President Leonel Fernández met with a group of filmmakers who thanked him profusely and expressed their commitment to work hard to achieve the best results.

El DRGFF celebra nominaciones de 127 horasAlfonso Rodríguez spoke in the name of those present at the meeting with the President while Ellis Pérez, designated Director General of Film, expressed the widespread satisfaction with the Film Law on the part of producers, directors and artists working in the Dominican film industry Through Decree 375-11, released on Tuesday, President Fernández designated Mr. Eliseo Antonio Pérez García as Director General of Film and Mr. Marlon Soto as Deputy Minister of Culture for Film Affairs.

The Decree also names the Film Advisory Committee, comprised of the following people: Manuel Corripio, Felipe Vicini, Isabel Turul, Ricardo Hazoury, Felix García, Adriano Miguel Tejada, Freddy Ginebra, José Miguel Bonetti, Juan Ramón Gómez Díaz, Joan Giancinty, Antonio Espaillat, Armando Almánzar and Omar de la Cruz.

These regulations and appointments were anxiously awaited by those in the world of cinema following the enactment of the Film Industry Promotion Law in November 2010. National and international investors were waiting for the law to be officially put into effect in order to initiate various film projects in the Dominican Republic.

Those accompanying Alfonso Rodriguez at the meeting with the President included filmmakers, producers and other businesspeople and well-know agents in the field, such as Leticia Tonos, Peyi Guzmán, Jaime Piña, Frank Perozo, Víctor Dumé, René Fortunato, Albert Martínez, Alejandra Bonetti and Francisco Valdez. Laura Castellanos also participated in her capacity as attorney involved in the discussions that concluded in the final redaction of the law.

Ellis Pérez was accompanied at the meeting by members of the Film Advisory Committee which includes businessman Antonio Espaillat and Omar de la Cruz, Director of the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival and the Global Media Arts Institute.

President Fernández declared that this is “a huge leap for the sector.”
President Fernández went on to praise the collective effort made by those in the film sector by undertaking the regulations necessary to achieve the enactment of the Film Law.

He said the creation of this Law will promote the Dominican Republic as an attractive place for national as well as international investment that will propel the development of the film industry.
“It was time for the DR to have a legal framework and stimulus to promote the film industry because, for many years now, we have seen an enormous amount of natural talent in the area of film and all of its expressions and manifestations,” said the President.

He added that it was necessary to create an incentive mechanism that would enable film from the Dominican Republic to connect with the broader world of cinema and the major technological development that connection implies. He stressed that now, with the new Law, this indeed will happen because, “we have taken a huge step forward.”

He predicted that, in the coming decade, there will be a consolidation of the seventh art in the Dominican Republic that will not only enable Dominican actors broader recognition but will also attract investment resulting in a dynamic economy with the generation of jobs and investment that could see exponential growth in areas that are connected to the film industry.

“While we are promoting film as an artistic expression of high quality, at the same time we are talking about an industry that will ultimately position the country, from a tourism perspective, in an even more advantageous international position,” added the President who concluded his speech with effusive congratulations “to all of those who collaborated actively, enthusiastically and tirelessly to achieve this new leap forward for cinema in the Dominican Republic.”

Alfonso Rodríguez responded: “Thank you for giving us one of the best film laws in all of Latin America.”
Mr. Rodríguez spoke of the jubilation felt in the film sector: “We feel very content, satisfied…it has been a very intense time, with lots of ups and downs, understandings and misunderstandings but now, after five years we have the best laws in Latin America.”

Rodríguez, film producer and director, celebrated the fact that this process has given filmmakers an opportunity to express their opinions and points of view and to be taken into consideration and listened to.
He offered special recognition to President Fernández “for being the only president who has extended his hand to filmmakers.”

In the name of everyone, Rodríguez also offered a special recognition to Congressman Manuel Jiménez for defending and working for this legislation in Congress in the name of filmmakers.

He went on the thank Attorney Laura Castellanos for the important role she played in achieving a consensus in moments of disagreement which ultimately resulted in the redaction and judicial approval of the law.

“We are very content, President, with the law and we are not going to let you down,” said Rodríguez at the meeting in the Juan Bosch Library.

He stressed that the legislation will not only impact culture in the DR but will also have a positive effect and bring about investment.

Ellis Pérez said he was honored with the task of put the Law into effect. “I am honored by the confidence the President has placed in me,” said Pérez who added that he is ready to assume the challenge that this important Law carries with it.

He said that while filmmakers will be the central cog in the wheel of this process, everyone working together, will put this Law into effect.

“I am no stranger to those in the film industry; it is up to me to simply implement the law, to make sure it functions properly,” said Ellis Pérez.