Dominion (2016 film)

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Directed bySteven Bernstein
Produced byRichard N. Gladstein
John Malkovich
Nolan Mcdonald
Written bySteven Bernstein
StarringRhys Ifans
Rodrigo Santoro
John Malkovich
Romola Garai
Zosia Mamet
Tony Hale
Music bySteven Bramson
CinematographyAntal Steinbach
Edited byZimo Huang
Chris Gill
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States

Dominion is a 2016 American drama film written and directed by Steven Bernstein which examines the final hours of author Dylan Thomas. The film stars Rhys Ifans as Thomas, Rodrigo Santoro, John Malkovich, Romola Garai, Zosia Mamet and Tony Hale.

The unfinished film was screened at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.[1] The worldwide sales rights were acquired by Lightening Entertainment in November 2017.[2]


The film was very well reviewed at The Rio Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter said: "Dominion's daring never becomes pretentiousness, and its sincere struggle to get to the heart of the endlessly fascinating Thomas myth — one with contemporary resonances, in its take on celebrity — finally makes the film as rewarding as it is uncomfortable..."[1] ISTOE, one of Brazil's three leading magazines said: "Also worthy of an Oscar is Rhys Ifans in Steven Bernstein's Dominion."[3] Luiz Carlos Merten for ESTADAO said: "Rhys Ifans' performance as the poet is Oscar worthy." and "Rodrigo (Santoro) could compete for best supporting."[4] Plano Critico said: "Certainly one of the best films of the year" "Dominion is one of those films that leaves us completely in love with it, a cinematographic work with identity, both as textual imagery, which immerses us completely in this dizzying trajectory of Dylan Thomas."[5]

The film was also very well reviewed at The Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Aurelia Aasa, film critic for Postimees Culture said: " of the most aesthetically pleasing and poetic films at PÖFF this year..."[6] Ben Nicholson of "Cine Vue" named "Dominion" as one of the Top Ten Picks of the festival and said: "a virtuoso performance from Ifans – he’s pompous, verbose, and charismatic."[7]


The film won the Best Actor award for Rhys Ifans' performance as Dylan Thomas at the 2017 POFF Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.[8] POFF Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival is the largest film festival in Northern Europe.



The film was shot in 2014 and is currently[when?] in post-production. On May 1, 2014, Rhys Ifans, John Malkovich and Diego Luna joined the cast.[9] On May 29, 2014, Rodrigo Santoro joined the cast.[10] Principal photography began on May 23, 2014, and ended on June 23, 2014.[11][12]

The film ran into financial difficulties during the last week of filming when extras and technicians were not paid for the work they had done when the production ran out of money.[13] Though producers insisted the crew would be paid, in 2015 extras and crew signed an open letter to Pierre Lescure, the president of the Cannes Film Festival asking them to ban Dominion from being screened at the festival until they were paid while the producers argued that the incomplete film would benefit from being shown at Cannes where they could find investors to finally pay the crew.[14]


  1. ^ a b Holland, Jonathan. "'Dominion': Film Review". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  2. ^ "AFM: Lightning Takes Rights to Rhys Ifans' 'Dominion' (EXCLUSIVE)". November 1, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "No festival do Rio, apelo ao entendimento e Rodrigo Santoro no júri - ISTOÉ Independente". October 8, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  4. ^ "Festival do Rio 2/Poesia em debate, ou O tango de Rodrigo". Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  5. ^ "Crítica - Dominion (2016)". October 14, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  6. ^ "Dylan Thomas laseb viskiga immutatud poeesiat". Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  7. ^ "Tallinn 2017: Our picks of the Black Nights festival". December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "'Night Accident' Wins Grand Prix at Tallinn Black Nights Film Fest". Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "Rhys Ifans, John Malkovich, Diego Luna Star in Dylan Thomas Biopic (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  10. ^ "'300' Thesp Rodrigo Santoro Joins Dylan Thomas Feature 'Dominion'". Deadline. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  11. ^ "On The Set For 5/27/14: Johnny Depp Starrer 'Black Mass' Starts For Warner Bros., 'Jem and the Holograms' Wraps". Archived from the original on 12 June 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Saint John movie shoot attracts 250 actors from region". 24 June 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Big-time movie with Saint John roots out of money". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  14. ^ André, Duschene. "Une querelle autour du film Dominion se transporte à Cannes". Retrieved 16 October 2016.

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