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Dominican Productions Woodpeckers and Jeffrey, Award Winners at the Havana Film Festival in New York

April 9, 2017

The films were screened thanks to the support of GFDD’s Dominican Film Showcase and DGCINE

New York – The Dominican films Woodpeckers (Carpinteros) and Jeffrey received awards in the eighteenth edition of the New York Havana Film Festival, an internationally recognized competition that celebrates Latin American film. Thanks to the support of GFDD/Funglode’s Dominican Film Showcase and the Dominican Republic’s General Directorate of Film (DGCINE) both productions were screened in New York between March 30 and April 7, accompanied by their respective directors, José María Cabral and Yanillis Pérez. Both productions won awards: Best Director went to José María Cabral for Woodpeckers and an Honorable Mention from the jury was given to Jeffrey.

As Yamile Eusebio, GFDD acting co-executive director, explained, this type of event aims to “facilitate the enrichment of the film culture of the Dominican Republic and bring its unique brand of cinema to a wider audience as well as utilize the seventh art as a platform for discussion and as a medium for enhancing social awareness and promoting constructive change.”

The Award Winners
Últimos días en La Habana, by Fernando Pérez, received the Havana Star Award for Best Film. The distinction of Best Director went to Jose María Cabral for Woodpeckers and Best Script to Daniel Hendler and Alberto Rojas Apel for El candidato. Meanwhile, the awards for Best Actor and Best Actress were given to Cubans Jorge Martínez for Últimos días en La Habana and Isabel Santos for her performance in Ya no es antes. Honorable Mention from the jury was given to Jeffrey by the Dominican Yanillys Perez.

The jury was comprised of Martin Rosete, Carlos Enrique Almirante and Flavio Florencio.

The closing ceremony and the presentation of the awards, which took place in a full theater, was followed by the premier in New York of the film La orilla prohibida, directed by Ron Chapman.

About the movies

Woodpeckers (Carpinteros)
A young man finds love in a Dominican Republic prison in this fresh and indelible film burgeoning with atmosphere, sexuality and grit.

Jeffrey is a 12-year-old street windshield washer in Santo Domingo who yearns to become a reggaeton singer. With the help of his older brother, he composes and records songs about his life, his neighborhood, and his dreams for a better future.

About the directors
Yanillys Pérez is a Director, Writer, Producer and Actress. Her experience as an actress, her passion for cinema and her eagerness helped her to approach filmmaking. In 2011 she was part of the Golden Globe winner film “Carlos” by Olivier Assayas, selected in Cannes 2010. In 2014, Pérez wrote, produced and directed Techos Rotos (Broken Ceilings), a short film made in the Dominican Republic with a French co-production. She is one of  six directors selected for “Project Involve 2016” for independent films.

José María Cabral (born in Santo Domingo in 1988) started making films when he was 16 years old, and he has produced, directed, and written several features. His film Jaque Mate! (2012) was selected as the Dominican entry for the foreign language film Academy Award. Cabral is now promoting his new feature drama, Carpinteros, which is about the realities and relationships of prisoners in Dominican jails.

About the Havana Film Festival
Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) is an internationally recognized film festival celebrating Latin American cinema. In its 18th anniversary, HFFNY features more than 40 films from the most exciting cinematic talent from the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Venezuela and the United States. HFFNY upholds the reputation for which it is known: enriching and expanding the vision of Latino culture in the United States.

About the Dominican Film Showcase
The Dominican Film Showcase contributes to the dissemination of the best contemporary films produced in the Dominican Republic, by Dominican filmmakers, about Dominican topics. In its mission to promote the knowledge and appreciation of Dominican culture as well as to inspire Dominican filmmakers to reach out internationally, GFDD partners with institutions worldwide and creates opportunities for wide audiences to learn about Dominican culture, enjoy its art, and engage in conversations with filmmakers.


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