Dominican Republic

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Overview

One of the largest islands in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic (DR) shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. It boasts tropical flora and fauna, a huge horizon water tank with blue-screen capabilities and location stand-ins for anywhere in Latin America.

Over the last 12 months, the biodiverse Caribbean country has hosted numerous productions, and it is easy to see the attraction. DR is home to breath­taking beaches as well as jungles, mountains, deserts and other eye-catching locations such as rainforest, savannah, highlands and Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain. Capital city Santo Domingo has several Spanish landmarks including the gothic cathedral Primada de America, which dates back five centuries, in the Zona Colonial district. 

“Our inflow of big productions receiving the biggest budgets in the country proves that our industry is ready in terms of crew and infrastructure,” says DR film commissioner Marianna Vargas Gurilieva. “As a film destination we haven’t been impacted negatively by Covid-19. On the contrary, during this year and the last trimester of 2020 we hosted one of the biggest productions ever on the island.”

That production is Paramount Pictures’ $250m action comedy The Lost City Of D, starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, which the island and its film commission hosted from the end of 2020 through 2021.

David Fincher’s Netflix-backed movie The Killer starring Michael Fassbender is shooting in DR alongside the streaming-service-backed Korean TV show Suriname, based on the true story of a Korean man who becomes a drug lord.

Other productions recently filmed in the DR include M Night Shyamalan’s Old, backed by Universal; Lionsgate’s Arthur The King, starring Mark Wahlberg; AGC Studios’ Leopard Skin, with Carla Gugino; and Lionsgate production Shotgun Wedding, directed by Jason Moore and starring Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Coolidge. The country also hosted Amazon’s high-end television series Boundless, with Rodrigo Santoro. 

Two Spanish-language features have used DR locations this past year — Croma Kid and La Encomienda — alongside a music video for rapper Daddy Yankee.

Lantica Media provides studio facilities and film production services with operating units Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios, Lantica Production Services and Art 3+4, a joint venture that finances and produces original content for Spanish-language audiences on the island.

Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios, a 43-acre site that is a 30-minute drive from Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport, has state-of-the-art soundstages, production support services and access to tropical locations.

“While our film incentives haven’t changed, we are evaluating the possibility of extending the VAT exemption applicable to certain services, which expired a couple of months ago,” says Vargas Gurilieva.

 

Locations

As one of the most biodiverse countries in the Caribbean, the country is home to beautiful beaches as well as jungles, mountains, deserts and other eye-catching locations including rainforest, savannah, highlands and Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain. Capital city Santo Domingo has myriad Spanish landmarks including the Gothic cathedral Primada de America, which dates back five centuries in its Zona Colonial district (old town).

Crew and infrastructure

The island is home to Lantica Media’s Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios. It has three sizeable soundstages and a 60,500 square feet horizon water tank with blue-screen capabilities. The studio is a 30-minute drive from Las Americas International Airport and there are plenty of places to stay nearby. The country has an excellent motorway network, although be wary — people seem to drive fast. Proximity to the US means English-speaking crews are available, although bigger productions often bring department heads and other key crew..

First person to contact

Albert Martinez Martin, COO, Lantica Media @ albert.martinez@lantica.media

 

Size matters

The Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean island after Cuba. The metro area of capital city Santo Domingo is a 15-minute drive from the airport. There are direct flights from the US, while European flight numbers are beginning to recover.

 

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