Still from La Isla Rota (courtesy of Dominican Film Festival)

The 8th Dominican Film Festival (DFFNYC) is underway this week in New York City, showcasing 70 films from Dominican filmmakers between July 23-28. The films this year range from short-form efforts to features in a genre-spanning program meant 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,” according to the festival’s press release. This is the largest celebration of the Dominican film industry outside the Dominican Republic itself, and it’s a great opportunity for New Yorkers to experience the country’s cinema and learn about the artists behind the camera. Eighteen of the festival’s productions will be screened in competition for the DFFNYC Manzana Award in two categories (fiction and documentary) and in addition to screenings, the festival is also hosting a series of masterclasses, panels, and workshops.

The films on the schedule look promising. In El Closet, director Miguel Vasquez crafts the story of a priest who is unexpectedly locked in a matrimonial closet and needs to break out in order to save his life. A retrospective, Porfirio Rubirosa, The Legend of a Playboy, looks back on the life of a notorious lothario, possible spy, and associate of the dictator Rafael Trujillo. And the festival will close with the New York premiere of Felix Germán’s La Isla Rota (Broken Island), the story of a Haitian boy who witnesses his parents’ murder at the Dominican border

General admission tickets for the film screenings will be $15 and are available at the festival website.

When: Now–July 28
Where: Cinépolis Chelsea (260 W 23rd St, Chelsea, Manhattan) will host most of the festival’s screenings, with other events and screenings spread across Manhattan and Brooklyn as well.

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Eric Vilas-Boas

Eric Vilas-Boas is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic. He has previously worked at Thrillist, Esquire, SPIN,, and his writing has appeared at Vulture, Slashfilm, Lit Hub, Paste,...

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