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Dominican Film Festival Returns to Washington Heights

By Nigel Chiwaya | June 27, 2013 11:39am
  The five-day celebration of Dominican cinema kicked off Wednesday night at Columbia Medical Center.
Dominican Film Festival Returns to Washington Heights
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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — It may have taken a while, but the Dominican Film Festival is back for its second year.

The film-festival, a five day celebration of Dominican film and culture, kicked off Wednesday night at Columbia University Medical Center.

The Dominican Film Festival was founded in 2011 by Armando Guareno, who also organizes the KidsCinemaFest every fall. The festival held its inaugural run at the Coliseum Cinemas on West 181st Street, but was put on hold in 2012 after the Colosseum closed its doors at the end of the year.

This year's festival moved south, finding a home at CUMC's William H. Black building at 650 West 168th St.

Crowds packed the house during the opening night, and general producer Jamie Duarte thanked audiences during the opening ceremony.

"The goal of the Dominican Film Festival is to offer a great new event intended to bring our people together," Durate said.

After the ceremony, crowds were treated to a screening of "El Rey De Najayo," a film that tells the story of a Dominican drug lord who is still able to influence the outside world from inside the confines of prison.

Upcoming films that will be shown before the festival ends on Sunday June 30 include "Elliot Loves," a 2012 film about a gay Dominican-American man's search for a dependable partner which plays at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday; and "Pelotero," showing at 7:15 p.m. on Friday June 28, a film narrated by John Leguizamo that takes an inside look into Major League Baseball's training camps in the Dominican Republic.

The Domincan Film Festival runs through June 30. For more information and for tickets visit www.dffnyc.com.