In 2005, Vin Diesel and the President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez, met to discuss the possibilities of establishing a film industry in the country. Rich with physical locations and culture, the Dominican Republic is perfectly poised to take on film and television production, but lacks a labor force with the requisite skill sets. The ORF partnered with The Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, a local community organization, and New York University Opportunity Programs to bring NYU’s pre-existing Media Workshop to the region.
Since the launch of the first ORF- Summer Intensive 2006, over 60 students have graduated from the intensive production class, learning scriptwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, and editing. Over 180 projects have been completed by the students thanks to the ORF.
The Summer Intensive takes place in June, where 20 Dominican students learn the fundamentals of filmmaking through the guidance of Irving Vincent, Program Director. Over the course of four weeks, students complete a 30 second commercial spec or public service announcement, create a 10 minute television program which they produce and host, write and direct a 3 to 5 page short narrative, and finally, work in teams to complete a longer 10 to 15 page dramatic or comedic narrative. The entire process is hands on and students begin working immediately on the first day.
In addition, a number of workshops in advanced film production, writing, producing, and directing have been developed, reaching out to over 300 students in the region.
Talented artists such as Miguel Flores, David Valdez, Juan Basanta, and Ligiah Villalobos have mentored and taught classes for the Foundation. Program Director Irving Vincent, with the assistance of Technical Director George Argento, conduct the courses with the help of NYU student interns and Primera Toma alumni as teaching assistants.
The One Race Foundation has teamed up with YeleHaiti, Wyclef Jean’s non-profit organization supporting the arts and culture in Haiti, in the hopes of launching a similar program to that of the one in the Dominican Republic.
Currently, the One Race Foundation is investigating opportunities in Trinidad to launch a program that would bring the film industry to the nation.
Currently, the One Race Foundation is investigating opportunities in India to launch a program that would build the current film industry in the nation.