The movie theater opened in San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic, in the 1930s. It was called "Cine Jose Trujillo Valdez" after the dictator's father. When the dictatorship ended in 1961, my great-grandmother changed it to her name: Carmelita.
It was located across the street from the park, in this small town in the Northern part of the country. Cine Carmelita showed mostly Hollywood classics, Asian martial arts movies and Mexican comedies.
When Carmelita died in 1980, my grandmother Teresa kept running the theater until its doors closed in the late 1990s. The building was demolished in 2005.
I was born in 1983. I never met my great-grandmother. My whole life I saw my grandma running the theater and, even though I started doing photography at age 17, I never pictured myself in the movie business.
In 2013, as a photojournalist I found myself caught up in the process of making my first feature-length documentary, "Nana". When I started a second documentary project in 2017, "Waltz of Santo Domingo", I understood I would keep on making films.
That year I changed my production company's name to Cine Carmelita. My grandmother passed away in 2019.
Tatiana Fernández Geara – Director and CEO of Cine Carmelita
Estudié Comunicación Publicitaria en Santo Domingo y años más tarde recibí la beca Fulbright para realizar la Maestría en Fotoperiodismo en la Universidad de Missouri. Allí inicié un proyecto audiovisual sobre la vida de niñeras dominicanas que dejan a sus hijos para cuidar los niños de otros. Este proyecto luego se convertiría en mi primer largometraje documental, «Nana», y me impulsa a iniciar una carrera como documentalista. Actualmente trabajo como directora y directora de fotografía de documentales abordando temas de género y derechos humanos.
I also work as a photo stringer for the Associated Press and as a freelance photojournalist for international news outlets like The New York Times, National Public Radio, El País, among others.