How the Dominican Republic has thrived as a film destination since COVID-19
brought us radical changes. The Coronavirus put the brakes on the pace of life regardless of location. The whole world took refuge in the safety of our homes. Most industries came to a halt and film was no exception.
Although the pandemic caused many transformations, with the challenge of reviewing regular workflows and establishing new safety and security protocols to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 era, the entertainment industry has started to snap back.
Since last year, some countries have begun to open their doors, inviting the industry to resume their activities, showing the world their measures to maintain the safety of productions and minimize contagion risks.
The Dominican Republic was one of the first countries to welcome film productions in the middle of the pandemic, implementing safety & health protocols and guidelines, to ensure the protection of film crews and other staff members working in their studios, as well as ensuring the continuity of the industry by restarting multiple pending projects.
In May 2020, the Ministry of Culture agreed with the Directorate General of Cinema (DGCINE) to the creation of a security protocol that all productions must comply with. For its part, DGCINE continued to work remotely together with the Intersectoral Council for the Promotion of Cinematographic Activity in the Dominican Republic (CIPAC) to evaluate projects and streamline procedures so that projects under development could be finalized.
This video from Lantica Media, the company who runs Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios, shows how the new security measures have been adopted at their facilities, creating a safe working environment for production teams.
The rigorous monitoring and fast adoption of protocols established by the Dominican authorities attracted numerous international productions. This uptick made 2020 a record-breaking year, with the highest number of Unique Filming Permits (PUR) issued since the coveted filming incentives were implemented.
Its rapid response to the pandemic and its willingness to support the film industry to prevail and continue to move forward, have made the Dominican Republic a destination highly demanded by film and television producers, who are looking for the best option to carry out their new projects.
Old The Movie
Late in 2020, production began for Old, the upcoming supernatural thriller of acclaimed director M. Night Shyamalan (Split, The Sixth Sense), featuring an all-star international cast that includes Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Eliza Scanlen, and Thomasin McKenzie. A family enjoying a relaxing holiday on a paradisiac and secluded beach will experience the unimaginable when they start to age without any reason. The film is to be released July 21st, 2021.
Shotgun Wedding, a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge, and Lenny Kravitz, has just finished filming in the DR. It tells the story of a destination wedding that is hijacked by criminals, which will lead its protagonists to the wildest adventures.
Arthur The King
Another movie that wrapped production is Arthur the King, starring Mark Whalberg, Simu Liu, and Roger Wasserman. Directed by Simon Cellan Jones, the film tells the story between the captain of an adventure racing team and a wounded stray dog. Based on the 2017 book Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home by Mikael Lindnord.
Lost City of D
The Lost City of D, a Paramount romantic action-adventure comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, recently began shooting in the DR. Paramount announced on Saturday that the romantic action-adventure from directors Adam and Aaron Nee will receive a wide release date for April 15, 2022.
In the TV department, production started on the new series Leopard Skin for AGC Television. Carla Gugino (The Haunting of Hill House) will be the lead of this crime thriller series penned by Sebastian Gutierrez, who will also serve as showrunner.
Alongside with Gugino, the series will feature Amelia Eve (The Haunting of Bly Manor), Ana de la Reguera (Narcos), Gentry White (UnReal), Nora Arnezeder (Riviera), Philip Winchester (Chicago Justice), and Margot Bingham (New Amsterdam) .
Amazon Studios and RTVE has recently wrapped the first season of Boundless (Sin Límites), a four-part historic drama that narrates the epic expedition around the world undertaken by Spanish explorer Juan Sebastián Elcano and Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan. The series is expected to feature the real locations both explorers visited in the 16th century, which led to a grandiose journey of world-changing discoveries.