Día de Las Carpas

This film is available for the run of the festival starting the day of Thanksgiving 2021. To watch or to vote for this film please click on the orange “TICKETS” button below and purchase a ticket for BLOCK 14.  You also have the option to buy the Movie Buff Pass to watch all the films of the festival until December 15, 2021.


A little girl escapes deportation by becoming a mermaid.

After an immigration raid in their apartment building, a group of boys help an undocumented girl get to the beach to reunite with her family, unaware that their new friend has a magical secret that will change their lives forever.

Director Biography – JOÃO DALL’STELLA

João Dall’Stella just graduated as a directing fellow from the renowned American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is a queer writer and director who wants to share his personal stories with the world but with a twist, he also loves writing genre films. His mission is to bring minorities and LGBTQ+ characters and minorities to the forefront of mainstream movies. Right now he currently looking for funding for his queer horror film. His recent short film “Q-Therapy” was part of the official selection of OUTFEST 2019 and his short film “STALLS” is currently doing the festival circuit and played in more than 25 festivals around the world. His AFI thesis film ‘DIA DE LAS CARPAS” has won the DGA Student Grand Short Film Prize for Latino directors.

Director Statement

As a child, I spent most of my time lost in my own imagination. I still remember thoughts of having my whole school submerged in water or creating imaginary friends out of pens and other random objects. It offered me an escape from the world I was living in. I didn’t have many friends nor did I even knew how to make them. It was through dreaming, drawing, and music that I could entertain myself and create my own world. Years later, I found that making films the way to share this vision to the world

Dia De Las Carpas is a story that reminds me of my once untouchable innocence and the way I used to always “Observe” what was around me. The main character, Jonathan, is about to embark on a journey that will change his life forever. He is also an observer who finds in fishing his own escapism. I remember the days where I would go fishing with my family and how it bound us together.

As a queer person from Brazil, I’ve been always searching where I belong and that’s how I can relate to the characters in my films. The main character, Jonathan, is a version of myself during my child hood. Dìa De Las Carpas comes from my empathy towards other minorities that fight to find their place in the world.

My background and the unique experiences I had growing up in Latin America and moving to the USA provide me the positive belief system that I add to my films. I believe in humor and that making people have fun can really change their minds. I also know the feeling of being “different” everywhere and how difficult that can be.

As a filmmaker, one of my goals is to tell stories that I wish I’ve seen when I was younger. Whether it is a queer horror film or a story about immigrants. I hope my characters one day will inspire the generation that comes after me or can change someone’s mind for the positive.

This is a film about Freedom, Friends, and Family. I welcome you to my imagination and hope you have a good time.

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