As one of the largest islands in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic (DR) shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to its 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.
“The resilience of our film industry has been shown over this pandemic and the strength of the three assets that support it — our crew base, our infrastructure and our film incentives,” says DR film commissioner Marianna Vargas Gurilieva. “We have experienced an unprecedented increase of foreign productions being shot in the DR, with record-breaking spend.”
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.
Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios, a 43-acre site around a 30-minute drive from Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport, has state-of- the-art soundstages, production support services and access to a host of tropical locations.
Hollywood star Vin Diesel is also planning to buid a film studio in Puerto Plata in the north of the country through his production company One Race Films, responsible for the Fast and Furious films.
Over the past 12 months, the biodiverse Caribbean country — home to breathtaking beaches as well as jungles, mountains, deserts and other eye-catching locations including rainforest, savannah, highlands and Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain — has hosted myriad productions. 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.
M Night Shyamalan’s Old, backed by Universal and based on the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters, is among the projects accessing the territory’s tax credit system and facilities.
Shyamalan described shooting in the DR as “an incredible experience”. He worked with a mostly Dominican crew and brought with him 40 US crew members and 20 cast members.
Other productions shot in the DR include Lionsgate’s Arthur The King, starring Mark Wahlberg, and AGC Studios’ Leopard Skin, with Carla Gugino. Lionsgate production Shotgun Wedding, directed by Jason Moore and starring Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Coolidge also shot in the DR.
The country has also housed Amazon’s high-end television series Boundless, with Rodrigo Santoro, and the Netflix TV show Suriname, based on the true story of a Korean man who becomes a drug lord. Two Spanish-language features have also used DR locations this past year: Croma Kid and La Encomienda, as well as a Daddy Yankee music video.
LA-based Canyon Creek Films' drama Once A Pilgrim, based on the true story of an SAS evacuation from Sierra Leone, is also set to shoot in the Dominican Republic.
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).
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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