Late June marked the 5th Annual Dominican Film Festival hosted at the majestic United Palace, and in attendance was Snkrbst.com’s Editor, Roz Baron. Premiere night featured tons of Latino talent, and of course, glamor to the nines. The event gave way to the red carpet treatment (literally) in support of some truly compelling stories from the Caribbean. The festival ran from June 22nd to June 26th. Five days of compelling indie films – all varying in story, content and production. Special guest invites included filmmakers and producers of the premiere film titled “La Familia Reyna” (translation: “The Family Reyna” and/or a play off of the word Reigns). Elvis Nolasco from ABC’s TV drama “American Crime” (who also coincidentally grew up in the same nabe as said festival) came out to support his fellow film comrades. Before credits rolled, we moviegoers also heard a few words from State Senator Adriano D. Espaillat, who recently took his first historic step toward becoming the first Dominican-American elected to Congress – a huge lead in the Democratic primary to replace representative Charles B. Rangel.
“La Familia Reyna” is an independent film from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At first glance the film could typically be categorize as a “religious” movie and it’s storyline perhaps coincides with the likes of Cain and Abel. But to place this film in such a box is simply not fair. To the director’s credit, the film does a remarkable job of showing what typically is not known of DR: its illustrious agricultural side. To most (myself included) one envisions tropical settings filled with palms and beautiful beaches; however, this story documents (albeit through storytelling) a gorgeous landscape and a bountiful green thumb. Within minutes the audience is locked into a story of a family in turmoil due to an elderly parent suffering from dementia. Because of said illness, the two estranged brothers and main protagonists reunite after years of estrangement. The film goes back and fourth to memory snippets explaining why the brothers spent so many years apart – and almost to the detriment of the father’s health. There’s an unexpected twist ending that I won’t spoil for you readers – but let’s say it is definitely a film with some meat on it’s bones. Worth the watch.
Post movie, festivities continued at uptown’s hot spot 809 Lounge where the soiree had been sponsored by Dyckman Beer, Barcelo and Chivas Regal whiskey. Much needed dancing and networking were on the night’s agenda – and without a doubt made for a great end to a awesome movie premiere.
Now more on The Dominican Festival: The Dominican Film Festival of New York’s (aka DFFNY) mission is to promote a new generation of Dominican filmmakers along with established ones. DFFNY strives on strengthening the vital economic and cultural relationship of the Dominican Republic with the United States. The festival’s main objective is to inform New York City audiences about Dominican cinema and its relation to the history, politics and social life of the country through an aesthetic approach. The festival’s program will showcase an array of works reflecting the city’s diverse population including a large ratio of Latinos from 21 countries. o DFFNY is in it’s fifth year and expanding with each passing year. If any of our loyal readers would like to inquire more about DFFNY and/or provide a contribution to next year’s festival, please click here. Keep it locked here on Snkrbst.com for all the latest and greatest. And don’t forget to #ThinkLikeUs.
By Roz Baron
Editor-in-Chief of Snkrbst.com