Dominican Republic Poised for Post-Pandemic Return

Ignacio Alcantara/Andres Farias

The Dominican Republic’s lauded movie regulation marks its 10th 12 months amid common elections set for July. Fortunately, the three most important candidates are mentioned to be pro-cinema.

“The law is up for a review, but we don’t think there will be too many changes,” says movie commissioner Yvette Marichal.

As the nation gears as much as emerge from its COVID-19 lockdown by July 1, it’s nonetheless unclear when productions will restart and shuttered cinemas reopen. Nevertheless, pre-production on some reveals is in full swing.

Set development for a big-budget supernatural thriller by a serious Hollywood director has begun on the world-class Pinewood Dominican Republic water filming facility, albeit with well being and security protocols in place. Another supernatural thriller, “Geechee” from Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, will resume manufacturing at Pinewood DR by the top of July.

A Rupert Wainwright-directed drama based mostly on the Florida boating accident of three NFL gamers, “Not Without Hope,” restarts manufacturing on the ability’s horizon water tank in early September, per Albert Martinez, COO of Pinewood DR and Lantica Media, which operates the ability in partnership with the U.Okay.-based Pinewood Studios Group.

“We’re in the designing phase of building a fourth soundstage and a covered indoor tank,” says Martinez, who notes that their 2.four million-gallon outside tank fills up in 12 hours in comparison with others that take days to finish.

These and different initiatives have been lured to the Dominican Republic not solely by its beautiful pure sources and manufacturing facilities, but in addition by the nation’s beneficiant monetary incentives stipulated within the 2010 Film Law.

International productions spending a minimal of $500,000 (encompassing movie, documentaries, scripted and non-scripted TV, music movies) can faucet a 25% transferable tax credit score on certified expenditure.

Since final 12 months, the withholding tax of 27% levied on foreigners working within the DR was diminished to 1.5%, resulting in an upsurge in filming. International producers are additionally exempt from paying the 18% Value Added Tax (VAT). Furthermore, tools imported for the placement shoot is exempt from fee of obligation.

Last 12 months was so busy that at one level, 10 productions have been filming on the similar time, in accordance with Marichal. “We had to bring in crew from Mexico and Puerto Rico,” she recollects.

“We should see ourselves as allies, not rivals,” notes Ana Aizenberg of the Latin American Film Commission Network. With Puerto Rico, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Cuba both mulling or already providing incentives, the competitors within the area will solely warmth up. “Cooperation is key,” Aizenberg provides.

With the present pandemic forcing producers to attenuate their areas and journey, it’s possible that the Dominican Republic will see extra back-to-back filming. In reality, since 2014, contestants from as far afield as Turkey, Greece, Estonia, Brazil, Hungary and Romania have been flown into the island to movie the varied nation variations of actuality competitors sequence “Survivor.” Other TV reveals anticipated to shoot this 12 months embrace actuality competitors present “Exathlon,” Caracol TV’s “Desafio Super Regiones,” Cuarzo Prods.’ “La Isla de las Tentaciones” and “Malibu Games” from VICE ApS, Denmark.

Thanks to incentives for native filmmakers, the nation has additionally seen a dramatic uptick in homegrown manufacturing. There have been greater than 195 Dominican movies produced up to now 10 years, in comparison with 101 movies within the 88 years spanning 1922 and 2010. Article 34 of the movie regulation provides a 100% revenue tax deduction to personal buyers in native cinema, to not exceed 25% of the entire quantity due.

Film fund Fonprocine, with an open name slated between May 18 and Aug. 8, doles out assist to native shorts and feature-length initiatives in improvement and manufacturing. Among the high-profile Dominican movies helped by this fund are “Cocote,” “Sand Dollars” and the much-anticipated function debut “Candela” by newcomer Andres Farias.

Last 12 months, 27 Dominican movies have been theatrically launched, a dramatic leap from simply six in 2011. Many have scored properly on the native field workplace, outpacing even blockbusters from Hollywood. The market share of Dominican Films, 21% in 2018, ranks highest in Latin America, even beating that of the most important nation within the area, Brazil (15.1%) or, within the Spanish-speaking world, even Spain (15%).

Despite the setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dominican Republic is more likely to bounce again pretty rapidly. Lantica Media is producing a few native movies that can shoot on the Pinewood DR studio in August and September respectively, a Pablo Giorgelli-directed (“Las Acacias”) immigration drama “La Encomienda” and Pablo Chea’s coming-of-age dramedy, “El Chroma Kid.”

“We have a very solid pipeline of projects for the next 10 months, so our focus right now is to shoot safely in times of COVID,” says Martinez.
The lockdown “has given filmmakers time to polish their scripts, spend more time in developing their projects, and that’s a good thing,” says Omar de la Cruz, head of the DR Global Film Festival.

“Our wealth lies in our cultural heritage, we don’t have oil reserves to fall back on,” says Marichal who estimates that some Eight million vacationers a 12 months are lured to the nation after seeing initiatives shot within the Dominican Republic.


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