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Special Presentation of First Feature Film Directed by Waddys Jaquez in New York’s Lincoln Center

June 28, 2018

An enthusiastic audience packed Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theatre last Wednesday, July 25, 2018, to view the special presentation of the Dominican film “La Barbería,” Dominican film maker Waddys Jaquez’ first feature film. At the end of the presentation, the audience gave a prolonged standing ovation to the film. This is the third special presentation that the Dominican Film Showcase (GFDD initiative) and the Dominican Global Film Festival present at the prestigious Lincoln Center theatre.

Special guests to the event included Dr. Leonel Fernández, former President of the Dominican Republic and president of GFDD/Funglode; Juan Marichal, Dominican National Baseball Hero; Natasha Despotovic, GFDD Executive Director; Guillermo Sención, Dominican Businessman; Roberto Cavada, journalist; Jimmy Sierra, Dominican filmmaker; Yvette Marichal, Director of DGCINE, and Omar de la Cruz, director of the Dominican Global Film Festival.

Before the presentation of the film, Mrs. Yvette Marichal; producers Juan Basanta and Rafael Elias Muñoz, art director Wilhelm Pérez and lead actors Héctor Aníbal, Modesto Lance, Rosmery – Boquita – Almonte, Iván Camilo, Sandy Hernández and Carolina Féliz, participated in a panel discussion on the film and its production, moderated by Omar de la Cruz.

Producer, director and actor Waddys Jáquez, who is making his debut as a film director with this feature film, confessed: “I couldn’t believe it, to see an idea turn into reality and to see, for the first time, the public identify with the story. It’s an experience that made my heart beat speed up. Thanks to Dr. Leonel Fernández, to the Dominican Global Film Festival, and to Omar de la Cruz for giving us the privilege of presenting ‘La Barbería’ at the prestigious Lincoln Center.”

Experienced producer and director Juan Basanta also stated “Presenting a film here at Lincoln Center, accompanied by former President Fernández and a full house, where everyone was laughing and identifying with the film was truly an emotion-filled experienced. I have no words to express my gratitude or describe the intensity of emotions, but it was truly a very special evening, truly beautiful.”

Rafael Elías Muñoz, VP of Production for Lantica Media, expressed that “Lantica is interested in producing content with the best Dominican talents. And Waddys is, without a doubt, one of the most important names of Dominican theatre. It is a true pleasure for us to present his first feature film in this event organized by GFDD/Funglode, and we are very happy to see the public’s reaction to the film.”

Yvette Marichal, DGCINE director, also commented: “To be able to enjoy this special presentation of Waddys Jaquez’ ‘La Barbería,’ his first feature film, is a truly satisfying and emotion-packed experience. It makes us especially proud to see how we, as a country, as an industry in the Dominican Republic, were able to carry out the project, complying with all the international standards. We are certain that with this first feature film Waddys is heading towards the film industry. We’ve brought him from the theatre to the movie industry, and we know that he will be a proud representative of our industry.”

“La Barbería” tells the story of Benny who, for years, has taken care of his family’s small barber shop in Washington Heights with the help of his Uncle Cheo. But the times are changing and money is scarce. The neighborhood is full of closed shops and the barber shop could be the next to go, although the neighborhood block sees the shop as a sanctuary packed with tradition and culture. After putting the building up for sale, Benny must face the demands and objections raised by the surrounding Dominican community.

The presentation of this romantic comedy in New York City was made possible by the continued support provided by the Palacio del Cine, DGCINE, Lantica Media, Radio Cadena Comercial, SBS and Duende Film.

In Honor of Fernando Báez
During the event attendees honored recently deceased Dominican filmmaker Fernando Báez, director of “El Rey de Najayo,” the first film produced after the approval of the Film Law. His vast experience as a documentary producer, and his feature fiction films “Flor de Azúcar” and “Misión Estrella,” has meant a tragic loss for the country’s film industry. He was at the top of his career, with various projects underway, when his death occurred.

The audience supported the initiative of naming the Documentary Award issued by the Dominican Global Film Festival “Fernando Baez” with an emotional standing ovation.

His wife, Maria Cordero, and his six children – all involved in the film industry – graciously accepted the initiative.

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 aims to change that by showcasing a sample of the best films produced recently in the Dominican Republic, by Dominican filmmakers, about Dominican topics.