Film in the Dominican Republic

It is said that film appeared for the first time in the Dominican Republic in 1900 in Puerto Plata. Through the passage of time and technological advances in other parts of the world, Dominican film grew significantly. Nowadays film is an flourishing industry that represents an important sector in the national economy.

Important dates in Dominican film:

  • 48 films produced between 1988 and 2010.
  • Although film had momentum since the beginning of the century, the movie Nueba Yol (1995) directed by comedian Ángel Muñiz and starring Luisito Martí as Balbuena, marked the start to film’s rise in the DR.
  • In 2010, President Leonel Fernández enacted Law No. 108-10 to promote and strengthen the development of the Dominican film industry and at the same time position the country as a destination for foreign producers.
  • Subsequently, in the same year, through the Law 257-10, fueron modificados 19 articles were modified in the original legislation. The Law created the General Directorate of Film (DGCINE, for its acronmy in Spanish), a Branch of the Ministry of Culture; established a Fund of Film Promotion (FONPROCINE); and created a body, the the Advisory Commission of Cinemotography, whose objective is to encourage development policies for Dominican film and foreign investment in the film sector.
  • In 2012, the year when the Law was implemented, 8 films are produced. In 2013 14 films are produce and in 2014, 20. A total of 42 films are produced in only three years.
  • Since 2012, 55 foreign films have been produced in the country and more than 3,000 jobs in the film industry have been created.
  • The Asociación Dominicana de Profesionales de Cine (Dominican Association of Film Professionals; ADOCINE).
  • The Asociación Dominicana de Actores de Cine (Association of Dominican Film Actors; ADAC) is created in 2013.


Dominican Films List 1963-2016 (In Spanish)


Interesting Moments in the Evolution of Dominican Film

1923: Francisco Palau produces the first Dominican film, “La aparición de Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia”. In 1924 he produces a second film, “Las emboscadas de Cupido”.

1941: Dominican actress María Montez debuts in Hollywood in the science fiction film “Lucky Devils”. The same year she appears in the films En ese mismo año aparece en las películas “The Invisible Women”, “El amo del Oeste”, “That Night in Rio” “Jinetes del desierto”, “Moonlight in Hawaii” and “Queen of the Jungle”.

1955: The Dominican actor Rafael Campos debuts in Hollywood in the role of Young puerto rican in the film “Blackboard Jungle” (Semilla de Maldad), starring the famous American actor Glenn Ford. The same year he is featured in another film, “The Trial” (El juicio), also starring ford, in which he plays the role of a young Mexican American.

1974: Scenes from Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning film “The Godfather II” are shot in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo.

1977: Scenes from the American film “Sorcerer,” directed by William Friedkin, are shot in the country.

1979: Scenes from “Apocalypse Now,” by American director Francis Ford Coppola, were filmed on the banks of the Chavón River in La Romana.

1985: Scenes from the American film “Rambo: First Blood, Part II,” starring Sylvester Stallone and directed by James Cameron, are filmed in the country.

1988: Documentary filmmaker René Fortunato produces the documentary “Abril, la trinchera del honor.”

1990: Robert Redford shoots scenes of his film “Havana” in some areas of the Dominican capital, given Santo Domingo’s similarity with the Cuban capital.

1991: Fortunato produces the documentary “Trujillo, el poder del jefe.” The second and third installments of this documentary were produced in 1994 and 1996, respectively.

1995: Angel Muñiz produces the film “Nueva Yol.”

1998: Fortunato produces the documentary “Balaguer: la herencia del tirano.”

2005: North American actor Andy García shoots scenes of the film “La ciudad perdida” in Santo Domingo.

2005: Rogert Bencosme produces the film “Andrea.” That same year, “La fiesta del chivo,” a film directed by Luis Vargas Llosa, was shot in the country. In addition, the Cofresí beach, located in the Puerto Plata province, serves as the setting for the romantic comedy “Solos por accidente,” a film by American producer Randal Kleiser, who also produced “Grease” and “The blue lagoon.”

2006: Michael Mann shoots some scenes of the film “Miami Vice” in the colonial sector of Santo Domingo. In addition, Robert de Niro uses some Santo Domingo settings to shoot some scenes of the film “The Good Shepherd,” starring Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon. The first edition of the Dominican Global Film Festival takes place.

2007: The film Sanky Panky, by José Pintor, is produced. “Mi novia está… de madre,” a film directed by Archie López with a screenplay by Roberto Angel Salcedo, premieres.

2008: Angel Muñiz produces the film “Ladrones a domicilio.” Filmmaker Alfonso Rodríguez produces “Yuniol.” That same year he also produced “Play ball.”

2009: René Fortunato produces the historical documentary “Juan Bosch: Presidente en la frontera imperial.” “Sol Caribe,” a film by Félix Limardo, is also released. And Josh Crook produces the film “La soga.”

2010: Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas produce “Jean Gentil.” That same year, “Lotoman,” a film by Archie López, was released. The following year, in 2012, López also produced “Lotoman 2,” and “Lotoman 3” in 2014.

2011: John Delancer produces “Trópico de Sangre.” The film “La hija natural,” directed by Leticia Tonos, is screened. Director José María Cabral produces “Jaque Mate.”

2012: Director Fernando Báez showcases “El rey de Najayo.” “La lucha de Ana,” by Bladimir Abud, is also screened.

2013: The film “El teniente Amado,” directed by Félix Limardo, is released. “La Montaña,” by Tabaré Blanchard and Iván Herrera, is produced. Director Leticia Tonos produces the film “Cristo Rey.” Among others, Director Ronni Castillo’s “¿Quién manda?” is released.

2014: Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán produce “Dólares de Arena,” starring international actress Geraldine Chaplin. Director José María Cabral produces “Despertar.” “Al sur de la inocencia,” by Héctor Manuel Valdez, premieres. “María Montez, la película,” directed by Vicente Peñarrocha and starring Celinés Toribio, is released. Likewise, among others, the documentary “Yo Soy la Salsa,” produced by Andrés van der Horst Alvarez, about the life of Johnny Pacheco, also opens.

2015: Some of the films that are released are: “Código Paz,” by Pedro Urrutia; “Pal’ Campamento,” by Roberto Ángel Salcedo; “Los Paracaidistas,” by Archie López; “Una Breve Historia de Amor,” by Alan Nadal Piantini; and, “La Gunguna,” by Ernesto Alemany.

2016: “Mi Suegra y Yo,” by Director Roberto Ángel Salcedo, premieres with the participation of Charytín Goico. Among others, Bladimir Abud releases his film “A Orillas del Mar,” and “Nana,” a documentary by Tatiana Fernández Geara, also opens.

2017: Frank Perozo makes his directorial debut with his film COLAO, while José Enrique “Pinky” Pintor showcases his documentary HAY UN PAÍS EN EL MUNDO and the film MAÑANA NO TE OLVIDES, with Freddy Ginebra as the main actor. After years of working in comedy, Archie López presents his first drama entitled LUIS.


Did you know? Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios was established in the Dominican Republic in 2013. Since then, it has offered high quality motion pictures architectural spaces that include a water tank that is ready for shooting offshore scenes, and three sound studios, sets, workshops, production services and office space. These investments seek to attract film production companies and turn the Dominican Republic into a great set for filming, by offering all the technical resources that the demanding seventh art industry requires.

Did you know? “Yo Soy la Salsa” was the first Dominican film to be distributed through Netflix, starting in May 2016.

Did you know? 4D technology is available at a local movie theater: The Colonial Gate 4D Cinema, located in the Colonial sector of Santo Domingo.


Film Festivals in the Dominican Republic


Dirección General de Cine (DGCINE):
Cine Dominicano:
Entrenamientos Cinematográficos del Caribe (ECC-RD):
Cinemateca Dominicana:

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