Economy April 20, 2023 | 4:40 pm

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The “sustainability” of Dominican cinema clashes with the recovery rate

The end of film production marks the beginning of a new phase for the movie industry. Movie theaters open their doors to showcase the latest films, with hopes of recouping the budget approved by the Directorate General of Cinema (DGCine). Success is measured by the level of audience engagement, from applause and laughter to comments and critiques. However, the Dominican cinema industry faces a daunting challenge, as none of the films released in 2022 generated a profit, which is an unsustainable situation from a business perspective.

The figures from DGCine reveal that the 29 Dominican films released in 2022 generated only RD$101.5 million, a meager 8.2% of the approved budget of RD$1,237.8 million. Even the most expensive films, such as “Flow calle,” “El Brujo,” and “El país de las últimas cosas,” failed to break even, with losses ranging from 23.7% to 99.97%.

Investors are understandably wary of such a bleak scenario, as investing in films that do not guarantee a return offers little to no value in terms of brand advertising. Despite the tax incentives offered by the government, the fact remains that the film industry must produce commercially viable films that appeal to audiences and generate profits.

However, profitability is not only measured by box office collections but also by distribution and participation in festivals. The industry can still attract investors who believe in the potential of Dominican cinema. Furthermore, the public’s support is vital for the industry’s growth, and actors and filmmakers are calling for more support from the local audience.

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Paul Tierney
April 21, 2023 9:07 am

More has to be done to market Dominican films in the international marketplace. This means investment of closed captioning in various languages and translated voice overs, make a better effort to cause them to be inviting to foreign markets.