Thomas A. Crowell, the Director of The Indie Film Clinic, was invited down to the Dominican Republic by its former president, Dr. Leonel Fernandez, to teach the country's first courses in film law. Dr. Fernandez, a three term president of the country, is the current head of the Funglode Foundation, instrumental in helping to craft the Dominican Republic’s new motion picture incentive laws. The country is in the midst of an economic development program that includes, among other things, an initiative to make the Dominican Republic a key production source for United States filmmakers. In addition, Pinewood Studios is in the midst of constructing a new studio, which Professor Crowell was able to tour.
Professor Crowell was also invited by Dr. Fernandez to attend their seventh annual International Film Festival, and to teach a two-day workshop: “Legal Issues in Film Production in the United States.” The workshop was attended by the Dominican Republic’s leading entertainment law and intellectual property attorneys and film producers, as well as the former president himself.
"The workshop was very well-received, garnering national publicity as being the first entertainment law course taught in the country," Professor Crowell said.
The second day of the workshop was followed by a book signing of his film law guide: The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers. In addition, Dr. Fernandez invited him to tour his new library, open to both Dominican and Haitian students.