January 10, 2009

A Conversation with Elise Ortega, Dominican Republic Global Film Festival Intern

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“Whatever it is that brings one here, one always encounters fun and interesting experiences”.

Elise Ortega, student of Political Science at Sciences Po in Paris, France, was with from September to December 2008, interning in the area of communications with the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival, an initiative of GFDD and FUNGLODE, as well as InteRDom. Elise realized excellent work, both before and after the cinematographic event, which took place in November. She brought a wealth of experience to the country, both from a professional and personal standpoint. During her internship, InteRDom spoke to Elise about her experience.

How did you hear about the program?

t was by coincidence. I was looking for an internship with a cultural institution in the Dominican Republic. While surfing the Internet I came across the Festival’s webpage. I opened the link for volunteers, sent my resume and cover letter, and that’s how it all began.

What do you expect from the program?

Well, I’ve almost completed half of my program and my first expectation was to immerse myself in the cultural life of the Dominican Republic, and now that I’m familiar with the work of GFDD of FUNGLODE, the truth is that I love it. I plan to continue involving myself in the different events that they organize – for example helping with the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic and sitting in on political science classes, which is very interesting.

What does the project you’re working on through InteRDom consist of?

I’m working with the film festival, which will take place in November. I was assigned to be part of the communications team. Presently, we are working to create connections with International journalists.

What have you learned through collaborating with the Festival? Have you been a part of other cultural events before?

I participated once before in the area of communications with the Philharmonic Orquestra of Strasburg, the city where I lived for a while, and it’s very different because it’s an ongoing event. What most interests me is developing communication plans and information for press. I didn’t have an understaning of this previously, that’s why it was so interesting.

Have you worked personally on the creation of a project?

Yes. At the beginning one of my first tasks was to create a communications plan for the festival. The plan was to see what could be developed with radio, press and television affiliates. Its interesting to develop your own ideas and to see if they’re accepted or not — obviously not everything is possible, for reasons of time, etc.

If you were to tell your friends something, or to write a summary of your experience here, what would you say?

I would tell them that I invite them to come, because one truly finds what one wants here. Whatever it is, one always finds very interesting and fun experiences, especially at FUNGLODE. I like being at FUNGLODE because there’s always a lot going on. The work is of quality, and that’s what makes the institution so attractive.

What could you say about the group you have been working with?

Everything has been very good. There’s always a lot of support. I’m always asking questions about how I should direct my work; this has helped me a lot.

Where are you staying?

In the building infront, in an apartment that InteRDom rents. Its excellent, better than I imagined.

Which classes are you taking at the university?

I’m taking photography and public theory classes.

Have you participated in any cultural activities during the program?

Yes, I went to the restaurante El Conuco, which was also an interesting experience. It was very fun, but also a little touristy, but I liked watching the dancing very much.

What would you recommend to other students interested in the program?

That they apply, and that they come here and enjoy their experiences.