Meet the Illegal Street Racing Gangs of the Dominican Republic


French-born, NYC based filmmaker Aurélien Heilbronn didn’t travel to the Dominican Republic with the intention of shooting a documentary short.

But when he was introduced to a local scene that revolved around illegal street racing at breakneck speeds during the dark hours, he says he knew he had to make a film about it. Street Racers was the result of a few days spent with a group of young guys who risk their lives daily, racing along highways on customised motorbikes, blocking traffic and evading police in the process. The whole film oozes pent-up testosterone, with rival gang members, drinking, tales of rival gangs, street boxing and partying providing a backdrop to the main game of racing. And racing really is the main game; as one of the guys simply puts it, “I like winning. Nobody likes losing.”


Heilbronn says that it was his goal to create a darkly cinematic feel to the film, making use of his Sony A7sII and Red 18-50 lens for the low light. The sinister mood is perfectly complimented with an original score by composer Max Xippel, a highly appropriate tone for activities that take place exclusively when the sun goes down.