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‘Romeo & Juliet-Inspired ‘Cristo Rey’ is Dominican Republic’s Foreign-Language Oscar Entry

'Romeo & Juliet-Inspired 'Cristo Rey' is Dominican Republic's Foreign-Language Oscar Entry

Described as a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” set in the Dominican Republic, director by Leticia Tonos Paniagua’s “Cristo Rey” is a drama that follows the relationship between a kind-hearted teenager, ostracized for his mixed Haitian-Dominican descent, and the beautiful sister of a local drug kingpin he’s hired to protect.

“Cristo Rey” stars James Saintil, Akari Endo, and Yasser Michelén, and has been selected by the DR as its entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration by the Academy.

If director Paniagua’s name is familiar, it may be because, 3 years ago, we profiled her last film, “La Hija Natural” (“Love Child”), when it was set to be the Centerpiece film at the Caribbean Tales Film Showcase in Toronto. The film is available for viewing on various online websites I came across, but none of them looked official, requiring you to download one application or another in other to view the film. Although it looks like it’s available on DVD, but just not in the USA.

A graduate of the London Film School, Leticia Tonos says she’s more interested in posing questions, than making statements, and especially prefers tackling social issues.

“Cristo Rey,” which reflects her mission, is her second feature directorial effort.

Watch 2 new clips from the film below:

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