November 17th, 2011: Mingling with the best at the DR Film Festival in Santo Domingo

Not knowing what to expect, we only planned on spending one day at the Film Festival and driving back to Cabarete that night, but we ended up staying for three fantastic days, mingling with other film producers and directors, well-known Dominican actors and their agents, and also other key film industry people. We quickly realized how small and interconnected the Dominican Film Industry really was, but mostly we were overwhelmed by the warm welcome we received by everyone we met and the keen interest they all had in our film project.

We attended excellent film makers’ workshops (professionally translated into English) and gained invaluable networking connections not only with prospective film crew and actors, but also with some key film law makers, such as Mr. Elis Perez, the Director General of DGCINE, who personally offered his full support for our film.

We were also fortunate to rub shoulders with some of the best Dominican film stars and to our delight, some even expressed interest in acting in our film. We connected with the naturally beautiful Julietta Rodriguez from the Love Child, Steven Bauer, a renowned Cuban-American actor known for his role as Manny Ribera in the 1983 film Scarface, and the handsome Luis Jose Lopez from SCI.

But the one actor all three of us unanimously fell in love with was Juan Fernández, a Dominican legend, who starred in over 30 movies, such as Crocodile Dundee II, Arachnophobia and others. His quirky, laid back personality and captivating facial expressions convinced us of his exceptional acting talent and we really hoping to sign him up for our movie.

We are all in agreement that a movie’s success is highly dependent on the quality of its actors. The cast brings our story to life, drawing out characters and themes that are suggested in the script, which is why we need to have the right people for each role. As much as it is an exciting task, it is also turning out to be an incredibly time consuming one.