Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Dominican Republic sees the need for a common cinematographic market for Ibero-America

the circulation of cinematographic content produced in Ibero-American countries is one of the pending subjects of the industry that would find a great boost in the creation of a “common market for Latin America“, mainly through co-production.

This was stated this Wednesday in an interview with EFE by the head of the General Directorate of Cinema of the Dominican Republic (DGCine), Marianna Vargas Gurilieva, recently arrived from Cannes (France), where various cooperation agreements were signed and various events were held to give the Dominican delegation greater visibility.

The limited circulation “of our content is a common denominator throughout Ibero-America”, hence “the need for a common market for Ibero-America” ​​to ensure that this content circulates, mainly “through co-production -one of the main bets of DGCinema– with Italy, with Spain, but also with the rest of Latin America”, he said.

In fact, “we are negotiating a cooperation agreement with Uruguay and another with Colombia to see how we can get more content flowing through the different markets.”

Lack of movie theaters

Although in the Dominican Republic “we are very well positioned in the consumption of our cinema” compared to the rest of Latin America, “there is a lack of movie theaters, and we also need to attract audiences,” he said.

In addition, movie theaters are located inside shopping centers, they follow the commercial logic of the “malls”, so the challenge arises of “returning to having movie theaters” outside these large surfaces, a model that limits the exhibition to cities, without reaching small towns.

An alternative is to use a small distributor that takes portable screens to the interior of the country to generate those hearings which, in turn, cause a kind of rebound effect towards the rooms through word of mouth, a method that is already being developed in other places.

“That seems extremely interesting and intelligent to me at the level of advertising and marketing strategy that could be replicable”, in a context in which “the pattern of consumption, due to the same pandemic, changed”.

Foreign Production

The tax incentives provided by the Film Law of the Dominican Republic have favored the arrival of a lot of foreign production to the country, with its consequent economic impact on the film industry.

“In 2021 and 2022 we closed with a very similar figure of more than 250 million dollars in foreign productions,” said Vargas Gurilieva, who pointed to the rise of serials and reality shows.

Those international productions bring their staff, but increasingly employ more local professionals. “The law tells you that to obtain the incentive, 25% has to be local, but the reality is that, due to cost issues and the talent that we have proven that we have, it goes above 70%,” he said.

“We have seen a lot of improvement and an increasing display of our talent in this foreign production” and, in the case of the art departments, the head is already Dominican, he pointed out.

Cinema and Tourism

“Cinema and tourism go hand in hand in two ways, directly and indirectly. Direct because every time you bring a production from abroad you have to host the staff”, also the Dominican who does not reside in the area.

But the true impact is indirect, because “every time you have a Jennifer López uploading a post -a promotion that we would not have how to pay- saying that she is in the Dominican Republic, promoting our locations, our beauty, that brings you an indirect impact” , pointed out Vargas Gurilieva.

All the people who saw a film shot in the country “are potential tourists who come to the Dominican Republic because of how they saw it on the big screen” or through digital platforms.

Hits in Cannes

Within the framework of the Cannes Film Festival, the Dominican delegation had a busy schedule that allowed it to reach, among other things, the first co-production agreement with Italyas well as an agreement with the Huelva Film Festival (Spain) and the renewal of the agreement with the Locarno International Film Festival (Swiss).

In addition, the Dominican project “Film Friendly Samaná” won the award Emerging Location at the Global Production Awardsorganized by Screen International magazine and KFTV & Broadcast.

This section rewards the film commission with more productions, attractive incentives, better services, a growing staff base and infrastructure, and a variety of filming locations.

The project is ongoing with the six municipalities of samaná to turn them “into an ideal destination for filming”, already being the second place in the country where the most filming is done, and the success of the initiative has aroused interest in replicating this model in other enclaves.


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