DOMINICAN WOMEN IN FILM
Lodge 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Thursday July 26th, 2018 at 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Join Laura Gomez, Dasha Polanco, Kiki Melendez, Katherine Castro, Lia Chapman for an in-depth discussion on the issues female filmmakers face in the largely male-dominated Film Industry and the approaches these talented Latinas have used to bring
their powerful and unique stories on-screen. A reception will follow.
Space is limited so please RSVP before Wednesday July 18 for a chance to celebrate with some of Dominican’s rising stars.
* There will be a security check-in in this building please confirm your attendance before Wednesday July 11, 2018. Also include the camera equipment and crew that you will bring.
Thank you in anticipation of your favorable response.
Dascha Polanco is a Dominican American actress known for playing the character.
Dayanara “Daya” Diaz on the successful Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. She has two children: a daughter born when Polanco was 18 and a son born two years later. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Hunter College, New York, in 2008. She was working at a hospital and attending nursing school when she was offered the part on “Orange is the New Black” and attended her audition in scrubs. Her film credits include “The Perfect Match”, “Joy”, “The Cobbler”, “Gimme Shelter”. Her latest film, “iGilbert”, directed by Adrian Martinez is in pre-production. As of January 2018, she has a recurring role on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story as Detective Lori Weider.
The multilingual Dominican Republic-born actress, producer, and writer Katherine Castro rapidly rose to fame after starring in a variety of notable movies including “El Gallo”, filmed in Santo Domingo and directed by the highly acclaimed actor Juan Fernandez de Alarcon (“A Man Apart”); “Silent Cry”, filmed in San Francisco and Paris; the sci-fi thriller “Subject 7”; and the crime thriller “Pulse of the Indigo”. Her most recent credits include “MAMBA” and “Someday”, which are both at this year’s Dominican Film Festival. She is a member of renowned acting teacher Aaron Speiser’s esteemed Master Class, with whom she began training in 2007, and continues to work with Susan Rumor to broaden her range of dialects, voice and singing. When not filming or traveling, Katherine lends her time and talents to non-profit organizations including Make A Film Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Kiki Melendez an actress, writer, comedian and CEO of Latin Hollywood Films Inc.. She attended the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theater and Film School and HB Studios in New York City, where she found her calling in comedy. She focuses on creating opportunities for other women and minorities through groundbreaking shows like the first bilingual entertainment show in America, “Kiki Desde Hollywood”, and the all-female, cross cultural “Kiki Melendez’ Hot Tamales Live!” on Showtime Networks. Most recently she created the first-ever Spanish language stand-up comedy show for Latinos in America “Locos Y Contentos” for Estrella TV national network. In 2015 her Docu-Comedy, “Journey of A Female Comic” had a theatrical release, qualified for the 2016 Academy Awards, and was added to the Permanent Core Collection at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Library. A Philanthropist at heart, Kiki currently sits on the board of the Joy Foundation for underserved children with special needs.
Laura Gómez is an actor, writer and director based in New York City. She plays the role of Dominican inmate Blanca Flores in the Netflix original hit series, Orange is the New Black, and has starred in several short films, including To Kill a Roach -winner of the Technisphere Award for Outstanding Achievement at New York University- and Hallelujah, both of which she wrote, produced, directed and stars in.
In 2011, she was a recipient of the IX Screenwriting Developing Grant from the Carolina Foundation in Spain. Laura is also an accomplished VO artist and has provided her voice for the audiobooks Of how the García girls lost their accentby Julia Alvarez and The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz. She’s also a member of the theater company Repertorio Español, where she has performed in critically acclaimed plays, like Doña Flor and her Two Husbands and The House of the Spirits.
Laura is currently in post-production of a third short film she recently directed and co-produced, and in 2015 her work as an actor includes the HBO miniseries Show me a Hero, created by David Simon and directed by Paul Haggis, the movie Daughter of God, starring Keanu Reeves and the much anticipated Season 3 of Orange is the New Black.
She’s also set to write and direct her first short film in Spanish.
Lia Chapman, born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York, is a producer, director, writer and actress of award-winning films such as “Broken Angels”, and “In my Mother Arms” (DFFNYC 2015/2017). She started her acting career in Madrid while she was working as a model, appearing in Almodovar’s “Matador” and Fernando Trueba’s “Se Infiel y No Mires Con Quien”. She took acting classes with Juan Carlos Corazza, who became her mentor, and worked alongside great Spanish actors such as Javier Bardem. She has worked with directors including Jordi Grau, Julian Schnabel, Antonio Banderas, and José Luis Garci. Her popularity quickly snowballed when she was cast as Zara opposite Maribel Verdú on the series ”Canguros”, and became the first black face to play a leading role on Spanish TV. She debuted as a director with her short film “Ese beso” ( DFFNYC 2014). Her most recent projects include a role as the protagonist of the award-winning film “Jenni” (2018) and “Mis 500 Locos”, a Dominican-Spanish film in post-production.