Dominican Republic Hot Spot for Hollywood

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ — Offering a breathtaking landscape, ethnic diversity and supportive government, the Dominican Republic (DR) is proving to be a haven for Hollywood. Evident from the abundance of movies shot here in the past 20 years, the DR’s popularity is ever growing as the ideal film location for high-profile directors and their actors.

Most recently seen in Santo Domingo, the DR’s historical colonial city, were prestigious Hollywood actors Vin Diesel and Robert De Niro. Both were visiting to scout locations for upcoming films and met with DR President Leonel Fernandez.

Diesel’s visit to the DR was in preparation for his starring role in a film about a Dominican who travels to New York in search of the American dream. After meeting with Santo Domingo Mayor Roberto Salcedo and getting a city tour, he announced his plan to promote the DR as an ideal location for filming movies.

Robert De Niro, who is no stranger to the DR after filming the Cuban scenes of “The Godfather: Part II” here in 1974, has returned to scout locations for his upcoming film, “The Good Shepherd.” The film, directed by De Niro and starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, tells the history of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through the eyes of agency founder, James Wilson. While in Santo Domingo he completed an on-site inspection and filed for permits from the Foreign Ministry to shoot the film, which is to begin in December.

Diesel and De Niro aren’t the only actors to take advantage of the country’s beauty and historical grounds. Several movies are currently being filmed and are set to be released soon. Andy Garcia’s “The Lost City,” a film set in Havana and centering on the rise of Fidel Castro and fall of the Batista regime, is currently being filmed in the DR. The movie will star legendary actors Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Robert Duvall and Garcia himself, and is set to be released this year.

Also currently being filmed in the DR is a segment of the “Miami Vice” movie, starring Colin Farrell and Oscar winner Jaime Foxx as the two main characters, Crockett and Tubbs. Based on the popular television series running from 1984 to 1989, the movie is set to be released on July 28, 2006.

Filmed on the DR’s North Coast this summer was “Lovewrecked,” a teenage romantic comedy starring Amanda Bynes, Chris Carmack, Jonathan Bennett and Jamie-Lynn DiScala. Using the beautiful Sun Village Resort in Puerto Plata as the primary filming location, it also housed the entire cast and crew during the shooting of the movie. Set to be released this spring, the movie was directed by Randal Kleiser, who also filmed hits “Grease” and “Blue Lagoon.”

While movies being filmed in the DR are on a steady climb, these are not the only flicks ever to have utilized the country. Other popular movies with roots to the DR include: “Zombie,” a horror movie that came out in 1979 and was directed by Lucio Fulci; “Serpent and the Rainbow,” a horror movie released in 1988 and directed by Wes Craven; “Havana,” released in 1990 and starring Robert Redford as a character living during the collapse of the Batista regime; and “Dreaming of Julia,” a movie released in 2001 staring Harvey Keitel focusing on the Cuban Castro revolution and filmed in Santo Domingo.

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