How long have you been working on the film?
I worked on the film for ten years. Seven of the people interviewed on camera and who were witnesses to the Mirabal story died in 2009 most of old age.
Who has been involved?
We first shot in the Dominican Republic with a very small crew. There was myself; director of photography/audio, Obeid Malikyar; associate producer, Angela Rumland; and Dominican director of photography, Jaime Gomez. We followed in the sisters' footsteps: to their home in Conuco, Salcedo); their childhood home in Ojo de Agua; their convent school in La Vega; their husbands' place of imprisonment in Puerto Plata; Santo Domingo, where the women were also imprisoned; and the sugar cane field where they were assassinated. We interviewed their family, friends, classmates, cellmates, co-revolutionaries, government officials, everyone of importance to the story. I interviewed over forty people across the country in a four-week period.
I heard you shot historical recreations. Is that so?
Yes, in 2003 I traveled to Cuba to shoot dramatic recreations. I employed a crew of 50 film professionals, and 100 actors. I hired Cuban director of photography Iván Diaz; and production manager, Raonel Rodríguez. My associate producer was Chilean journalist, Andrea Henríquez, and my assistant director was Ralf Oberti. The main roles were played by Cuban film and television stars. Many people ask me why I shot in Cuba. The reply is that I have had almost no funding, and production costs in Cuba were low enough to allow me to shoot there with my tiny budget.
What part of the post-production are you working on now?
*** Several people worked on the editing of the film at different phases. The first two editors were Ralf Oberti and Jack Jorgens. Then, in the final phase, Jamie Godfrey edited. Rodrigo Vera and Jamie Godfrey collaborated to produce the graphic elements and film titles. The audio was mixed by Javier León and I did the color correction at NVI Post, in Virginia.
*** The Spanish narration was carried out by film star Catalina Sandino Moreno, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the feature "Mary Full of Grace", narrated the documentary. The documentary's director, Cecilia Domeyko, narrated the English version
*** We recorded the documentary music created by Dominican composer Angie del Riego, who also wrote lyrics for the theme song. We did this at IASO Records with Ben de Menil, and a group of Dominican musicians, including lead guitarist Edilio Paredes.
So what´s next?
The documentary has been completed and it is available for sale on DVD on Paypal. It has been on the official list of a dozen festivals and has won four awards.
There is one more important step: promoting the documentary. If no one hears about it, it won't get seen. Promotion and sending the program to film festivals is important because buyers and distributors go to these events and pick the programs they want to air in their own countries. All this takes a lot of work and is expensive, but we're hoping we can fundraise enough to send the documentary all the way around the world.