Caribbean Films Honored at 39th Annual Miami Film Festival – NBC 6 South Florida

For the next ten days, Miami becomes home to filmmakers from over 35 countries, representing over 120 films.

According to festival director Jaie Laplante, the last two festivals were “just a shadow” of what the festival should be.

But the 2022 edition is back in force and for the first time, the Dominican Republic is in the spotlight, with five films on the bill.

“The five films are different in some way,” said Andres Farias, who directed “Candela,” one of the Dominican films featured. “You have a story, you have a Caribbean pop movie, you have a comedy.”

Farias calls Caribbean film noir “Candela” and says the mix of genres in the selected films is a good symbol of what’s happening on the island, from a creative point of view. Laplante agrees.

“The Miami Film Festival has always been a great promoter of Latin American cinema,” he said. “We follow the trends of international cinema every year. This year was just a big breakthrough for the Dominican Republic. We have watched as cinema has evolved over the past two years. These five films, collectively, have formed a very strong series. We created the ‘Quinteto Dominicano’ projector to celebrate this and honor this great wave of energy coming from the Dominican Republic.”

Filmmakers on the island attribute the rise of independent cinema on the island to a tax incentive for creatives.

Pablo Lozano produced “Candela” and he says he has seen a big jump in productions on the island.

“The country went from one or two films a year a decade ago to producing 20 to 30 films a year,” he said. “It was a matter of time for that amount of work to result in the development of a voice, the maturity of a voice.

Lozano adds that universities and schools nurture students’ love of film.

He teaches at INTEC (Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo), which also helped produce “Candela”.

“Initiatives like this in which the academy is linked to the production of independent films are very important and are also the result of the ecosystem in which we currently find ourselves in the Dominican Republic,” he said.

Farias and Lozano say they are excited about the next generation of Dominican filmmakers.

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