The Dominican Republic’s Bou Group is in production on its latest pic under its unprecedented multi-year distribution deal with The Walt Disney Company, “Cazatesoros.”
According to the adventure caper’s director, Héctor Manuel Valdez, who co-founded Bou Group with José Ramón Alamá and Vicente Alamá, the pact with Disney came about following several years as regional box office leaders. “They contacted us in 2020 after our company had previously produced commercial successes such as ‘Todos los hombres son iguales,’ ‘Colao,’ ‘Trabajo sucio’ and ‘Que león,’ (the highest-grossing film in the history of the Dominican Republic), among others,” said Valdez.
Like most of the producers in the country, Bou Group finances its films by tapping into Article 34 of the Dominican Republic’s tax incentives, which allows companies in the DR to allocate 25% of their projected taxes towards local production.
As a result of this partnership with Disney, Bou Group’s “El año del tigre” was the first film in the Caribbean region to premiere on Star+, Disney’s streaming platform in Latin America.
“Our second release on the platform, ‘Malos padres,’ remained in theaters for 14 consecutive weeks, becoming the highest-grossing local premiere of the year to date,” added Valdez, who expects their next pic “Bienvenidos al paraíso,” now in post, and “Cazatesoros” to land on Star+ next year after Disney releases them theatrically. Like most other streaming platforms, Star+ has been keen to fill its programming with original content.
Shooting at various locations in the Dominican Republic (DR) and Peru, the adventure thriller stars the Dominican Republic’s Luinis Olaverria (“El año del tigre”) and Nashla Bogaert (“El año del tigre”) alongside Peru’s leading actors Carlos Alcántara and Franco Cabrera, both stars in Peru’s most successful comedy franchise “Asu Mare.”
Written and produced by Jose Ramon Alamá, “Cazatesoros” follows a treasure hunter (played by Cabrera) as he searches for “the most coveted riches ever pursued by mankind”: a treasure bounty that was allegedly buried with Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus. As historical lore tells us, the remains of the man who discovered America were interred in the DR for more than two centuries before they were returned to Spain.
Separately, another film Valdez directed, “Insular,” starring the late Cuban actor Alexis Diaz de Villegas (“Juan de los muertos”), will world premiere at the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, which runs Nov. 20 – 28.
Based on the story “La Isla” by Luis Martin Gómez, “Insular,” does not fall under the Disney deal, noted Valdez.
Diaz de Villegas portrays a man stranded on a deserted island en route from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico. Amidst the challenges of isolation and the struggle for survival, a chance encounter forces him to decide between returning to civilization or embracing island life.