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  • The festival aims to promote the country

    The festival aims to promote the country's natural heritage and appropriate behaviors to preserve it. | Photo: Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival

The festival has grown since it began in 2011, attracting 10,000 filmgoers last year.

The fourth edition of the Dominican Republic's Environmental Film Festival, or DREFF, opened Wednesday, screening films in 11 cities across the Caribbean nation.

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The festival, which runs until Sept. 18, aims to educate and raise environmental awareness among the public, as well as promote the country's natural heritage and encourage the behaviors necessary to preserve it.

The DREFF started in 2011 with an attendance of 2,000, growing to 10,000 filmgoers last year, festival director Natasha Despotovic told EFE.

"For us, it's very important to use film as an educational medium to raise awareness and promote better public policies, and greater social action and behavior by the private sector. The change can be seen at many levels," Despotovic said.

Films from the Dominican Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Japan, India, Iran, Mexico, Argentina and the United States are being screened at the DREFF.

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The festival includes discussion panels with environmental experts, filmmakers and other stakeholders.

It will be the occasion to watch "The True Cost," a documentary which examines the textile industry's impact on the environment, a few days after another Bangladesh factory fire killed at least 33 workers.

The Green Film Network, or GFN, prize will be handed out during the festival.

The GFN brings together 30 environmental film festivals from around the world.

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