Spain and the Dominican Republic compete in film production

Spain’s Ángeles González-Sinde is a screenwriter, film director and writer, to name a few of her accolades in this formal presentation

She was recently visiting the Dominican Republic to hold a conversation at the Cultural Center of Spain about the passion that has put her on the podium to receive Goya awards for Best Screenplay and Film, and the Mestre Mateo of the Galician Academy; plus her experience as Minister of Culture of the Government of Spain and her current position as president of the Board of Trustees of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

She, in one afternoon traced in some way, her personal experience of a screenwriter and director with the changes that exist in the audiovisual business environment, such as cinema, a creative work in which unlike other artistic disciplines its development is conditioned by technology and the economic conditions in which films are produced.

Ángeles is the daughter of film producer and screenwriter Jesús María González. At a very young age, she decided to study a degree in Classical Philology, then a master’s degree in screenwriting at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

During his short-lived stay on the half-island, he traded his tan on the white sandy beaches for a cultural banquet at the Museo del Mar in the Colonial City and the Centro León in Santiago. It is at this point in the conversation that I ask him: If a Dominican producer or entrepreneur makes you a proposal to write a screenplay or produce a movie about what or who would you do it? His answer: “I liked the story of Nadal Walcot.

It refers to an artist who was born in 1945 in the Ingenio Consuelo, in San Pedro de Macorís, a province of the Dominican Republic. His roots extend from Saint Martin and the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean.

Walcot was a self-taught artist, a descendant of African slaves from the English Caribbean islands, who came to work in the sugar cane industry from the late 19th century.
“That mix of different languages and cultures and the way blackness is lived is a source of history that has not been told and it inspires me,” Ángeles comments.

How do you see Dominican cinema?

Dominican cinema has gained an important boost in the last 10 years with Law 108-10 for the Promotion of Cinematographic Activity in the Dominican Republic, which in its Chapter VI establishes the Stimulus Regime for Cinematographic Activity and the possibilities for financing. This has given an enormous boost to cinema because this is not an art that can be produced spontaneously without a context that favors it. It is very expensive and its diffusion and production depends on many tools, including legal and juridical ones.

Are we prepared to attract production and investment?

I visited the Pinewood Indomina film studio, located in Juan Dolio (in San Pedro de Macoris province) and it is an important bet to bring good production to the island and investments that leave a lot of money in the places where it is filmed and, in that sense, Spain competes with the Dominican Republic because it is a destination for international filming that tries to attract that same investment.

What are the advantages of promoting these initiatives in the country?

Now, the Dominican Republic has the possibility of creating many jobs, the incorporation of more local talent, and that the level of the country’s own cinema will be strengthened with this knowledge.

What makes us compatible in this business?

Spaniards and Dominicans share a language and it is a heritage that many countries in the world do not have and we have been aware of it, but platforms like the United States have taken more advantage of it.

Spain has a film law and a tradition of filming from the 50s but now the government is working to attract more investment from filming that moves large teams of hundreds of people. We both share many hours of daylight, different landscapes, the Dominican Republic has a film academy that, like the one in Spain, of which I was president from 2006 to 2009, seeks to encourage the dissemination and promotion of films so that local audiences get to know them and so that they acquire prestige that takes them to international festivals.

Would Spain like to come and film here?

Ideally, our series and films should be able to travel and share natural local markets with Ibero-Americans. I would like it very much; we filmmakers like the challenge of the unknown, in the end it is the engine that drives us to choose that production. You dedicate yourself to filmmaking because you want to see life from the other’s point of view. It is natural to your own vocation to tell stories.

Learn more: Cinema in Dominican Republic

Learn more: Entertainment in Dominican Republic

Learn more: Ángeles González-Sinde

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