DominiRican Productions Announces Details of Film Projects

Earlier short films "release" and "Rhythm is Gonna Get Who?" have received multiple film festival awards and accolades and are now being considered by streaming services.

By: Mar. 19, 2023
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DominiRican Productions Announces Details of Film Projects

The award-winning DominiRican Productions has announced details for two forth-coming short films and two shorts scheduled for pre-production.

Continuing with their mission of providing opportunities in front of and behind the camera for Latinx professionals, DominiRican Productions' Co-Founders Pierre Jean Gonzalez and Cedric Leiba Jr, with their Co-Partner and Director of Photography Steven Luna, have developed four original scripts for film production with two slated for Summer 2023 release and two slated for Spring 2024.

"We aspire to create content that represents the under-represented and create opportunities for our Latinx community," explains Gonzalez. "Along with producing and developing our own work, our production company also seeks to collaborate with other organizations and visionaries who also seek to empower our communities through their art," explains Leiba.

Earlier short films "release" and "Rhythm is Gonna Get Who?" received multiple film festival awards and accolades and are now being considered by streaming services. Awards for "release", based on an original poem by Cedric Leiba Jr and directed by Pierre Jean Gonzalez, include Best Experimental Film and Best LGBTQ Film from Florence Film Awards; Best NYC Film from NYC Downtown Short Film Festival; Gold Award for Experimental Film from Hollywood Gold Awards; Best Experimental Film from Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Film Festival; and Best Experimental Short from Uruvatti International Film Festival. Accolades for "Rhythm is Gonna Get Who?", directed by Pierre Jean Gonzalez and written by Sol Crespo, who returns with another filmed screenplay in 2024, include Best LGBT Short Film from Uruvatti International Film Festival; and being an Official Selection for Latino Film Market Film Festival and BiteSize Film Festival.

Currently, filming on two new original screenplays is complete and in post-production with the films scheduled for the festival award circuit this summer. DominiRican Productions is the executive producer for both films.

Our Friendly Neighbors: The Short Short, written by Marco Antonio Rodgriguez and directed by Pierre Jean Gonzalez, is set in 1984 in New York City when a curious boy awakens to his sexual nature and clashes with his ultra-conservative, over-protective, single mother while they live together in a tiny studio apartment. The cast includes Altagracia Nova as Juanita, Virgilio Anibal Rojo Mohammed as Mikey and Nylena Nicole Otano as Netta. Steven Luna oversees Cinematography and Editing.

The Odd Year, written by B.C. Villalona and directed by Pierre Jean Gonzalez focuses on Val, a shy college freshman, who attends a New Year's Eve party and confronts her trauma as she tries to make room for new love and opportunities. The cast includes Darilyn Castillo as Val with Kai Heath as G, Nyseli Vega as Vanessa and Bianca DiSarro as Dreya. Steven Luna oversees Cinematography and Paul Notice is the Editor.

Scheduled for pre-production and filming later this year with release dates in Spring 2024 are two additional original screenplays also executive produced by DominiRican Productions.

Until Ray, written by Sol Marina Crespo, who penned the award winning, "Rhythm is Gonna Get Who?", follows three friends, Papo, Ramón and Joey, who reunite on the eve of a wedding and begin to reminisce on their childhood antics. Memories come to life and old wounds resurface.

Hobbies, written and directed by Steven Luna, focuses on Hector, a 50-year-old Dominican immigrant, forced to retire after a sudden health issue. With the help of his wife and son, Hector comes to realize that perhaps labor isn't all he's built for, and a hobby might give him a new sense of purpose.

Cast and crew details will be announced prior to the release date of each film.

DominiRican Productions

Pierre Jean Gonzalez and Cedric Leiba Jr, themselves actors, directors and advocates, founded DominiRican Productions in 2020 out of a need to see more Afro-Latinx and Queer representation behind of and in front of the camera. The Advocate selected DominiRican Productions as "Champions of Pride" in recognition of their mission to create opportunities for Afro-Latinx and Indigenous Latinx representation in TV and film in the rooms making the casting decisions, in the writers' rooms, on-screen and in the director's chair. GOOD MORNING AMERICA similarly included Pierre and Cedric in their "Inspiration List" of people making LGBTQ+ history. Nominated by Nicco Annan, who wrote, "They remain collaborative visionaries that continue to create for those who so often don't see themselves on stage or the big screen. Their projects illuminate a part of our community that deserves more light. Two promising trailblazers bringing healing and much-needed conversations."

In 2022, Pierre and Cedric welcomed their lead cinematographer and editor, Steven Luna, as a Co-Partner and Director of Photography. Steven Luna is a filmmaker, director of photography, writer/director, and an arts educator. Steven obtained his MFA from Emerson College and his films "Cut" and "To Be Heard" have screened in film festivals and art exhibits in the U.S. and internationally. "Cut" won a Global Film Accolade Award and "To Be Heard" screened in an Oscar-qualifying festival and was a semi-finalist for Screencraft's Diverse Voices in 2018. Steven has worked on multiple personal projects: writing, capturing photos, experimental and documentary footage for installation and exhibition purposes, most recently showcasing their work at the 103rd Annual Bendheim Exhibit, 433 Magazine, and as part of the Artist's Literacies Institute project called the Artist's Grief Deck. As an education designer and educator, Steven has worked with the Institute of Contemporary Art's teen program called the Artist and Writer's Collective in Boston, MA. Steven has taught at CCTV, AS220, Rhode Island College, and Emerson College. Steven was also the First Assistant Director to "Playland" which premiered in February 2023 to rave reviews in IFFR, and is currently directing a documentary focusing on teenage baseball players in Dominican Republic.

Learn more about DominiRican Productions at the following links:

DominiRican Productions


Pierre Jean Gonzalez


Cedric Leiba Jr


Steven Luna


Photo Credit: Ambe J. Photography


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