You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Media Luna Scoops Up Dominican Jose Maria Cabral’s ‘The Projectionist’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Cabral’s follow-up to ‘Woodpeckers’ is now in post

German world sales company Media Luna has snagged international sales rights to Dominican helmer-scribe Jose Maria Cabral’s latest film, “The Projectionist.”

Cabral is best known for his 2017 acclaimed prison-set drama “Woodpeckers” (“Carpinteros”), the first Dominican film to compete at the Sundance Film Festival and the country’s official submission to the 90th Academy Awards’ foreign language film category. In 2012, Cabral’s kidnapping drama, “Checkmate,” represented the country at the Oscars.

Now in post, “The Projectionist” turns on a man who spends many lonely hours operating a projector. His only solace is a woman he sees on a film reel. After an accident with the projector destroys his only connection to her, he travels deep into the remotest and poorest parts of the Dominican Republic to find her.

“José María Cabral is confirming his talent with a maturity that is just impressive,” said Media Luna CEO Ida Martins who closed the deal in Cannes. “We’re ecstatic to work for the success of this timeless and original film that will officially rank the director among one of the best of his generation.”

“In this road trip, I pushed myself to create characters that explore the Caribbean in an intense journey through cinema,” said Cabral, adding: “I’m really excited to work with Media Luna and Martins, whose experience in the business will make her the perfect partner in this new adventure.”

Aside from writing and directing the drama, Cabral produced “The Projectionist” through his company, Tabula Rasa Films. Like many other Dominican filmmakers, he tapped investors keen to take advantage of an incentive, introduced in the country’s 2011 film law, which allows private companies or individuals to deduct 100% of their investments in local feature films, subject to a cap of 25% of the income tax otherwise payable.

“My film was entirely funded this way with a total of 12 investors,” said Cabral, who did the same with “Woodpeckers.”

The results of increased private investment in local cinema have been extraordinary in a country that saw an average of two-to-three homegrown films a year for nearly three decades prior to the film law. It now sees an average output of 14 to 20 local films a year, with 2017 seeing a record 25 releases. Of these 25 films, 22 tapped the incentive. A Dominican film has topped the box office ranks since 2013, at least.

To lure foreign productions, the film law also offers a freely transferable tax credit of 25% based on a minimum investment of $500,000 on qualified international productions in the country. VAT and custom duties are exempted from eligible production-related expenses.

Cabral is in Cannes with a delegation of 43 other fellow Dominicans led by film commissioner Yvette Marichal and Omar de la Cruz, head of the Festival de Cine Global Dominicano.

“It’s the largest contingent the Dominican Republic has ever sent to Cannes,” said de la Cruz who recalls how it was just him and another colleague representing the country 10 years ago. “Indeed, it’s a reflection of the surge in our film industry’s output.”

More Film

  • Cannes Film Festival 2019 Winners Announced

    Cannes Film Festival 2019 Winners Announced (Updating Live)

    CANNES — The awards show for the 2019 Cannes Film Festival competition is underway. Presenting the tie for Cannes’ Grand Prix — awarded to a pair of politically charged features, Ladj Ly’s “Les Misérables” and Kleber Mendonça Filho’s “Bacurau” — outspoken liberal filmmaker Michael Moore told the crowd, “Trump is the lie that enables more [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally agreed upon that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies by iconic [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Soaring to $100 Million-Plus Memorial Day Weekend Debut

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake is on its way to a commendable Memorial Day weekend debut with an estimated $109 million over the four-day period. The musical fantasy starring Will Smith and Mena Massoud should uncover about $87 million in its first three days from 4,476 North American theaters after taking in $31 million on Friday. [...]

  • 180423_A24_Day_03B_0897.jpg

    Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe's The Lighthouse' Wins Cannes Critics' Award

    Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse,” with Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, won the Cannes Film Festival critics’ award for best first or second feature in Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week, one of the first prizes for which “The Lighthouse” has been eligible at Cannes. The award was announced Saturday in Cannes by the Intl. Federation of [...]

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Alien' at 40: Ridley Scott Explains Why 'You Don't Show the Monster Too Many Times'

    It’s difficult to imagine Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror classic “Alien” without the clear-minded, strong presence of Tom Skerritt as Dallas, the captain of the ill-fated Nostromo. But originally, the actor turned down “Alien,” which celebrates its 40th anniversary on May 25, though he thought Dan O’Bannon’s script read well. “There was nobody involved at the time [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content