Cristo Rey

  • Cristo Rey
Genre : Drama
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2013
Format : Feature
Running time : 96 (in minutes)

CRISTO REY is set in the Dominican Republic and depicts the complex relations between the Haitian and Dominican diaspora. Two brothers from different mothers, one Dominican and the other Haitian, will have to learn how to live together in Cristo Rey, a rough area of Santo Domingo.

Director: Leticia Tonos

Dominican Republic, 2013, feature length film, Language: Spanish, 1hr36, Rating: 14A

Set in the Dominican Republic, Leticia Tonos Paniagua's uniquely Caribbean retelling of Romeo and Juliet chronicles the love 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.

More than one million Haitians live next door to their homeland in the Dominican Republic. They are the country's biggest minority, and face widespread discrimination despite the fact that as many as half were born there. Taking up the story of these migrants, many of them undocumented, Cristo Rey finds focus in Janvier, a kind-hearted teenager of mixed Haitian/ Dominican descent.

We meet Janvier in the chaotic streets of Cristo Rey, a crime-ridden barrio of Santo Domingo where the cops play by their own rules and turn a blind eye to the activities of those who pay them off. Proud of his Haitian heritage, Janvier shuns his lighter-skinned father and rebellious half-brother as he tries to carve out an honest existence. But he longs for a better life, free from police harassment, and enough money to reunite with his mother back in Haiti. When he gets the chance to make some extra cash playing bodyguard to Jocelyn, the beautiful younger sister of the local drug kingpin, Janvier finds it hard to refuse. But as the two develop an intense connection, Janvier is forced to make a difficult choice.

Director Leticia Tonos Paniagua brings together a talented cast of newcomers for this unique, Caribbean retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Her leads are attractive and charismatic, but more importantly they feel genuinely plucked from the neighbourhood. With its percussive opening music, its sense of place and its depiction of a dangerous and urgent romance, Paniagua gives Cristo Rey the pulse of a hot city.


Director: Leticia Tonos Paniagua
Countries: Dominican Republic / France / Haiti
Year: 2013
Language: Spanish
Runtime: 96 minutes
Rating: 14A

Principal Cast: James Saintil, Akari Endo, Yasser Michelén
Screenplay: Leticia Tonos Paniagua, Alejandro Andújar
Cinematographer: Kika Ungaro
Editor: Angelica Salvador
Sound: David Hernández
Music: Mayreni Morel
Prod. Designer: Giselle Madera

Exec. Producer: Elisabeth Bocquet, Leo Proano
Producer: Sergio Ehrlich Dit Gobbi
Production Co.: LES FILMS DE L'ASTRE


Beneficiary project of the ACPCultures+ Programme (Belgium).
Read the interview of director Leticia Tonos realized by ACPCultures+.

For further information on the film : click here.

* OFFICIAL SELECTION - Contemporary World Cinema
* WORLD PREMIERE on 10 SEPTEMBER 2013, at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto.
* Projection/Screening: Tuesday September 10 / Scotiabank 9 / 9:00 PM
* Projection/Screening: Wednesday September 11 / TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 / 12:30 PM
* Projection/Screening: Saturday September 14 / Scotiabank 13 / 6:15 PM


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of