More than 35 films, 30 venues, 11 cities, 40 special guests and 12 countries in the DREFF 2015

August 24, 2015

With hot topics that range from recycling and activism, to food waste and animal extinction, the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival will take place from September 8th to the 13th all around the Dominican Republic

Over 35 films, documentaries, and national and international short films will be displayed at the fifth edition of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) taking place September 8-13, in cities across the Dominican Republic. With hot topics that range from recycling and activism, to food waste and animal extinction, a total of 11 cities across the country will host over 30 screening venues for those in attendance.

In addition to 40 special guests from all areas of the film industry, the DREFF –an initiative of GFDD/Funglode- is proud to host
Jon Bowermaster and the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura–  as the two guests of honor for the Festival. Bowermaster is a six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council and an award-winning writer and filmmaker. His film, Antarctica: On the Edge, will be featured at the DREFF. The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, the protagonists in the film LandFill Harmonic, is comprised of adolescents and children from the Bañado community
located around the Cateura garbage dump in Asunción, Paraguay. Handmade and ingenious musical instruments are created from the trash in this garbage dump, fashioned from recycled materials. With a repertoire that includes classical, folk, and Paraguayan and Latin American music, the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura has achieved international fame and has played with famous bands such as Metallica. We are honored to host them and the film they star in for our opening night.

Natasha Despotovic, director of the DREFF and executive director of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), says “By utilizing the medium of film we hope to inspire a sense of stewardship for the environment; we believe the power of its message can be instrumental in encouraging a keen awareness of our beautiful surroundings in the public at large.”

The DREFF has also organized four different film workshops, two master classes,
two ReCreatre workshops, which focus on recycled art, and other community activities. The two master classes offered will be led by Dennis Delestrac, one of the most sought-after European documentary directors, and cover topics such as obtaining access to interviews for films, and personal advice on how to make documentaries with impact.

Two different exhibits will also be offered. In the photography exhibit, “Oxygen”, Spanish photographer Juan Carlos
Vélaz offers the public a journey through the valleys, forests, hills, coasts, and natural enclaves of the Dominican Republic following a three year expedition around the country. The DR Recycles exhibition shows the ReCrearte program partnering with other Dominican non-profit organizations (Soy Ciclista Urbano, Concienciartrd) to promote art recycling and showcase its benefits in a unique joint exhibition.

Countries represented at this event are the Dominican Republic,
Cuba, the United States, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, France, England, India, Australia, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Honeybees, urban art murals, beaches clean-up and much more
Activities and workshops that include live demonstrations on honeybees, an urban art mural, and social media photography contest are sure to capture the interest of attendees. A youth walk and rally, beach clean-up day, and short story presentations offer even more
opportunities to be involved. There will also be a Cuban short films program including a special activity and a delegation of experts from Cuba.

The fourth edition of the Globo Verde Dominicano Award will be presented at the DREFF this year. The award is the only national competition in Dominican Republic that recognizes and encourages the production of short films, public service, and photographic works on the importance of the environment and other sustainable
development related topics. This year’s competition comes with a new category, the Globo Verde Jr., which is aimed toward high school students.

Throughout the week, we are excited to host several important environmental experts, activists, national and international film directors, and producers as they participate in screenings, workshops, lectures and special activities with the public.

Two very special launches will take place during the
Festival. The first is the GFDD/Funglode publication, LO DOMINICANO | ALL THINGS DOMINICAN.  This 300-page book offers a quick, fresh take on the main features of Dominicanness and the country’s cultural and natural endowments, all from a modern and innovative perspective that’s easy to understand, with an emphasis on intriguing and little-known details.

The other is a GFDD/Funglode short film “Valor Vital”
(The Value of Life). This film, which was made by GFDD’s team and directed by Natasha Despotovic, focuses on growth equations and socioeconomic development. It is difficult for big businesses, and more so for ordinary people, to quantify the significance of natural resources and make the value of nature tangible in our daily lives. The film responds to those questions: How much is the natural capital of the Dominican Republic worth? How do we put a price on the
ecosystem the planet has given us and that allows us to survive?

The week will close out with a showing of the film Racing Extinction. In this film, Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction.

Thanks to our partners and collaborators
“Thanks to the invaluable participation of at least 70  private institutions, non-governmental and public, every September for the past five years the Festival reaches more than 7,000 viewers, with over 80 free film screenings,” said Natasha Despotovic, Film Festival Director and Executive Director of the GFDD.

Partners and collaborators this year include Academia de Ciencias de la República Dominicana, Academia de Cine Ambiental de Puntacana,
Ágora Mall, ANU-RD,  Asociación Dominicana de Productores de Cemento Portland (ADOCEM), Biblioteca Infantil y Juvenil Republica Dominicana, Caribbean Youth Environment Network, Casa de la Cultura de Constanza, Centro Cuesta Nacional (CCN)/Orgullo de Mi Tierra, el Centro Cultural Monina Cámpora, el Centro Cultural Narciso González, el Centro Cultural Perelló, el Centro León, y el Centro para el Desarrollo Agropecuario y Forestal (CEDAF).

Also Centros Tecnológicos
Comunitarios (CTC), Cinema Oasis, el Clúster Apícola Dominicano (CLUSAPIDOM), el el Clúster Puerto Plata/Descubre Puerto Plata,  el Cluster Turístico de Samaná, CMS Vatavaran Environment and Wildlife Film Festival and Forum, Colegio Loyola, Colegio Bilingue New Horizons, Consorcio Ambiental Dominicano (CAD), Counterpart International, DACD Metal Recycling Metal, Dirección General de Cine de la República Dominicana (DGCine), y Dirección General de Ganadería (DIGEGA).

In addition, the list of our partners and collaborators includes the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic, the French Embassy and the Embassy of Paraguay, as well as Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, Esperanza Verde, la Fundación De Saneamiento Ambiental de la Zurza (FUNDSAZURZA), la Fundación Ecológica Puntacana, la Fundación Propagás, la Fundación Siempre Más, la Fundación Sur Futuro, la Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana (FUNIBER), Green Energy,
Green Film Network,  Green Planet Films, Hotel Villa Serena, Impulsar / Alianza ONG, el Instituto de Abogados para la Protección del Medio Ambiente (INSAPROMA),  el Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales (IDIAF), el Instituto Iberia, el Instituto Tecnologico de las Americas (ITLA), el Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) y la Red Nacional de Apoyo Empresarial a la Protección Ambiental (EcoRed).

Listín Diario/Plan Lea, 
el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales de la República Dominicana, One & One Comunicación Visual, Palacio del Cine, Planet in Focus Film Festival, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), Rancho Baiguate, Red Ambiental de Universidades Dominicanas (RAUDO), The Colonial Gate 4D Cinema, Turenlaces del Caribe, Unicornio Films, Universidad APEC, Universidad Católica de Santo Domingo (UCSD), Universidad Católica Nordestana (UCNE), Universidad Iberoamericana
(UNIBE), y Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU) are also part of our group of collaborators.

About the DREFF
Since its creation in 2011, the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF)- an initiative of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (Funglode) -has been providing Dominicans with a platform of knowledge and debate on the environment and sustainable
development, along with its challenges and best practices while celebrating the unique beauty and wealth that is the Dominican Republic’s natural heritage.

With a diverse selection of films and numerous panels, workshops, seminars, and community activities, the DREFF promotes dialogue and the exchange of knowledge and experience, inspiring Dominicans to adopt actions that contribute to the appreciation, conservation, and sustainable use of their environmental

By bringing together young people, scholars, experts, activists, filmmakers, representatives from the public and private sector, non-governmental organizations, as well as wide audiences from all walks of life, the Festival promotes programs and projects that contribute to environmental protection, conservation, and sustainability.

Thanks to the participation of more than 60 private institutions, non-governmental and public, every September
the Festival reaches more than 7,000 viewers in around 10 cities in the Dominican Republic, with over 80 free film screenings at some 30 venues around the country.

Fulfilling GFDD/Funglode’s commitment to contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Objectives, the DREFF implements 3 programs that operate throughout the year that work with diverse communities: ReCrearte, EcoHuertos, and RDescubre.

In its mission to promote the production of environmental films and to raise the level of public awareness, the DREFF organizes the Premio Globo Verde Dominicano Award and the Environmental Film Screening program, produces its own documentaries, and constantly updates the Film Festival’s blog.

The DREFF is a member of the Green Film Network, an international network that groups together 30 of the most important environmental film festivals in the world.

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To see the complete program click here