The Fall of a Sparrow

Directed by Jose Rivera

This film is available from November 27-30, 2020. To watch or vote for this film please click on the orange “TICKETS” button below and purchase a ticket for BLOCK 6.


Nicole is 12, black, and has lived all her life in the haunted apartment that Lily, white and pregnant, wants to buy for her new family. This taut, 2-character ghost story, set on the day they meet, explores the emotional depths of their rivalry and unlikely friendship, examines the silent costs of gentrification and asks the question: who really owns the spaces in which we live?

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Director Biography – Jose Rivera

José Rivera is the author of 25 feature screenplays including the Academy Award nominated “The Motorcycle Diaries,” which was also nominated for a BAFTA and a WGA award. Other screenplays include “Trade” and “On the Road.” More recently, he was a staff writer on “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” (Showtime) and head writer – writing all ten episodes of the first season – for the upcoming “100 Years of Solitude” (Netflix). Rivera served on the board of the Sundance Institute and mentored Sundance Screenwriting Workshops in Provo, India, and Jordan.

Director Statement

In the 1980s, as Brooklyn was beginning to gentrify, I had the opportunity to view an apartment near Park Slope that was up for sale. What I didn’t expect as I began to tour the large, spacious apartment was that the African-American family, that was about to be displaced from their home, was still there. Feeling awkward about this invasion of their space, I spent the entire time in the kitchen talking to the 12-year old girl who lived there as she was doing her homework. She was full of humor and wisdom and sadness. I never forgot our conversation. Ultimately I couldn’t bring myself to buy the apartment — and this film is my way to honor that chance encounter, that fleeting moment fraught with danger and unexpected connection.


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