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“María Montez”, the Story of the First Dominican Woman in Hollywood, captures the heart of Washingtonians

September 21, 2017

GFDD hosted a screening of the 2014 Dominican film María Montez: The Movie in its DC office for a special edition of the Dominican Film Showcase in the U.S. capital.

Before the screening, Maria Victoria Abreu, GFDD’s International Affairs and Socioeconomic Development Program Manager, gave the welcoming remarks and prefaced a video-message from Yvette Marichal, Director, Dominican Republic Film Commission (DGCINE). In her statement, Marichal spoke of the current strength of the Dominican film industry thanks to Law 108-10 (Law for the Promotion of Cinematographic Activities in the Dominican Republic). Talking about María Montez, Marichal expressed: “I think that from the point of view of a renowned, cultural figure, María Montez would be an excellent representative of those Dominican women who dare to follow their dreams, especially because she did that at a time where it was very difficult to reach Hollywood.”

María Montez was a Dominican actress in the 1940s and early 1950s, who became very successful in Hollywood and gained international recognition as the ‘Queen of Technicolor.’ Her life has been portrayed in this film and in a special book, María Montez: Su Vida (Her Life), written by Margarita Vicens de Morales and sponsored by DGCINE (2012). Vicens de Morales started her research on Montez back in 1976 and gathered relevant details on her personal and professional life, including the 26 films in which Montez participated.

Semiramis De Miranda, GFDD’s Director of Programs and Technology, along with María Victoria Abreu spoke informally with the audience after the screening, and gave recognition to Margarita Vicens de Morales for her kind contribution to GFDD’s event by providing a special copy of her book for the audience to enjoy.

María Montez: The Movie was directed by Vicente Peñarrocha and produced by leading actress, Dominican Celinés Toribio.

About the Dominican Film Showcase
The presence of the vibrant and dynamic Dominican community is well acknowledged in cities across the United States. Dominican culture, music, and traditions are quickly becoming household references but the country’s film industry remains relatively unknown. Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) aims to change that by showcasing a sample of the best films produced recently in the Dominican Republic, by Dominican filmmakers, about Dominican topics.

The Dominican Film Showcase presents, shares, and celebrates the stories, characters and history of the Dominican Republic with an international audience.