President Leonel Fernandez broke ground for the construction of the new state-of-the-art film and television facility in Juan Dolio yesterday. Leading British film studio Pinewood-Shepperton is the operational partner in an almost 142,000-square meter (35-acre) film and television studio in the DR going up to serve the growing Caribbean and Latin American entertainment market. Pinewood is responsible for movies like James Bond, Batman, Harry Potter and Slumdog Millionaire.
Construction is expected to take a year, with an opening date set for early 2012. It will be funded and managed by the Indomina Group, part of the Vicini group, the leading Dominican asset management company with investments in food and beverages, retail, energy, finance, tourism and real estate in the Caribbean and Central America.
"The satisfaction of working with one of the most important companies in the world, ensures the desired success," said Felipe Vicini, CEO of the Vicini Group during the ground-breaking ceremony.
UK Ambassador Steven Fisher said that the construction of the studio is an example for other Dominican and British companies.
The studio is under construction in Juan Dolio beach area, about 40 minutes from Santo Domingo, and is to be known as Pinewood Indomina Studios.
The company announced that the state-of-the-art film and television production facilities would initially cover 5,000m2 of sound stage space along with 15,000m2 of associated production support facilities.
The almost 142,000m2 site will include a more than 4,000m2 water effects facility including a 75m x 75m exterior water tank with natural ocean horizons, blue screen capabilities and a fully equipped diving and marine department. When completed it will be the only tank of its type and size in the region. The tank will be used for filming exterior water scenes. It will give the impression of natural ocean horizons and will come with a diving and marine department.
Growth in spending on filmed entertainment in Latin America is expected to rise at a 4.5% compound annual rate to US$3.1 billion in 2013 from US$2.5 billion in 2008. Box office spending is expected to increase from US$1.3 billion in 2008 to US$1.7 billion in 2013, a 5% compound annual growth. Pinewood Indomina Studios will target production companies wanting access to the Caribbean, Central and South American markets and its population of 580 million as well as the 47 million-strong Hispanic and Latino market in North America.
Pinewood chose the DR based on what it describes as well-established infrastructures, reasonable labor costs, a technically skilled workforce, and a secure and stable environment. Making the difference in its site choice is also a new film law provides a tax credit of up to 25% for feature films and TV series shot in the country (meeting traditional predetermined criteria).
Indomina Group Co-Chairman and CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann said: "The ground breaking ceremony for Pinewood Indomina Studios marks a major step forward in Indomina's evolution. Building and operating a world-class production facility in the Dominican Republic has always been an integral part of our vision for the company, and we're delighted to be doing so with a partner as distinguished and experienced as Pinewood."
In an official company statement, Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive, Pinewood-Shepperton plc said: "This represents further progress in Pinewood's strategy to leverage the strength of our brand internationally and specifically to the growing Latino film and television market. The Pinewood brand stands for excellence in the global film industry and we have strategically targeted regions of the world where significant incremental growth has been forecast."
The Indomina Group is a vertically integrated independent studio launched in 2008 by co-founder and CEO Jasbinder Singh Mann and Dominican asset manager Vicini. Operating in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic, Indomina takes a transmedia approach to collaborating with content creators around the world to bring innovative entertainment properties to the market.
Pinewood will receive annual fees for its sales and management services and an equity participation that accrues over time from 2013.
I don't know if I am ready to see Hipocrito Hedia back on the saddle.
Ese lo que es un charlatan. I think Leonel is probably the best of the two
and atleast is bringing investors in even though it is at the cost of a big tax
break. Hippo is not a president material.