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WOODPECKERS (CARPINTEROS)

José María Cabral’s Woodpeckers (Carpinteros) was selected this week as Dominican Republic’s official submission for the 2018 Foreign Language Oscar category.

Woodpeckers (Carpinteros) which premiered earlier this year at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival tells the story of handsome Dominican-Haitian Julián (actor Jean Jean in a breakout role) who begins a begins a jail sentence for petty theft inside the notorious Najayo prison just outside Santo Domingo. He becomes immersed in the system of “Woodpecking,” the unique sign language the male prisoners use to communicate with women in the adjacent penitentiary just over 400 feet away.  Julián’s entanglement with one female inmate, Yanelly (the astonishing Dominican actress Judith Rodriguez Perez), is the fuse that ignites the events of Woodpeckers, which was shot on location at the actual prison using real inmates for all but the lead roles.

Director José María Cabral’s first feature film, Jaque Mate (2011), was selected as the Dominican entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards.

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