The film Racing Extinction and its award-winning director, Louie Psihoyos, brought the DREFF to a close. The fifth Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) included over 120 screenings and took place over the course of 6 days, in 11 cities in the country and at the 30 locations. National and international guests, representatives of government and non-governmental organizations, experts, and the general public attended to see one of the most anticipated documentaries in the past years, which was shown at Funglode in Santo Domingo. The Film Racing Extinction anticipates its worldwide television premiere a few weeks from now.
The president of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Funglode (Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo) awarded the Colibrí Prize to the Oscar-winning director. The Funglode auditorium hosted a full house, which closed the 5th Dominican Environmental Film Festival, an initiative of Funglode and its sister institution in the United States, the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD).
Alongside former President Fernández, the Colibrí Prize was awarded by the director of the festival and executive director of the GFDD, Natasha Despotovic.
The two also awarded a Colibrí Prize to Emily Hunter, an environmental activist and daughter of the founder of Greenpeace, Robert Hunter, and his widow, Bobby Hunter, both of whom were guests of honor at the festival.
During the ceremony, former President Fernández was accompanied by the renowned environmentalist and Dominican biologist Idelisa Bonnelly; Omar Ramírez, the Executive Vice-President of the National Council on Climate Change and the Clean Development Mechanism; and marine biologist Oswaldo Vásquez among other international guests.
Before granting the awards, Despotovic highlighted the success of the 5th festival, during which more than 35 national and international films were presented. She thanked the entities that took on the initiative to raise the awareness of the Dominican population regarding the subject of the environment.
Louie Psihoyos and Racing Extinction
Psihoyos’ most recent film, Racing Extinction, ended the list of screenings during the closing ceremony. Psihoyos talked to the public in an interesting question and answer session after the film was shown.
Psihoyos, whose work as a photographer is backed up by his numerous publications and images in magazines such as National Geographic, Fortune, Smithsonian, and Discover, has used natural Dominican scenery as the backdrop to some scenes of his film.
The filmmaker recounted, among many things, a few details of the filming of the film The Cove in the Republic, emphasizing the natural beauty of the country, and explained that the idea for Racing Extinction was also developed here.
His work is well-known around the world. It has been shown on television channels such as Discovery, National Geographic, and History. His imagination, genius, and emblematic images have contributed to illustrating a wide range of complex themes, which are extended and apparent in his film productions.
Racing Extinction shows the audience a covert operation whose objective is to reveal the hidden world of species in extinction and the race against the clock of the people who protect them against it. The team travels across the world to infiltrate the most dangerous black markets in the world and uses high-tech tactics to document the relationship between carbon emissions and the extinction of species. Racing Extinction offers impactful images that have never been seen before, and which truly change our way of seeing the world.