Worry Dolls

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 11.  You also have the option to buy the Movie Buff Pass to watch all the films of the festival until December 15, 2021.


A woman, traumatized by a past assault, has recurring nightmares of the attack and looks for other solutions when traditional therapy doesn’t work. She is gifted Worry Dolls by a Mexican shaman who believes they have the power to take away the woman’s worries. She soon realizes, however, that using their magic has opened a door for her nightmares to become a reality.

Director Biography – Marcella Ochoa

Marcella has worked in the entertainment industry for 16 years in marketing, production, and as a filmmaker. She started off her career in the International Publicity department for Sony Pictures Entertainment and traveled the world working on the marketing campaigns for all the studio’s major films. She left Sony to be the Head of Development for producer Harald Kloser’s (Moonfall, Midway, Independence Day: Resurgence, White House Down, 2012) production company. Kloser is the producing partner to world-renowned director Roland Emmerich. She worked closely with Kloser and Emmerich on several blockbuster films and TV projects. She co-wrote, produced, and was the 2nd unit director on a supernatural thriller, Discarnate, that was released on Amazon and On Demand in 2019. She eventually left to start her own production company and wrote, directed, produced, and was the lead actress in her short film on Americanization called My Name is Maria de Jesus. The award-winning short premiered on HBO Latino in July of 2019. She did a national university speaking tour for Hispanic Heritage month where she screened her film and spoke to the Latino students on campus. She co-wrote the social justice thriller, Madres, that was produced by Blumhouse TV and Amazon Studios and released in October as part of their highly anticipated ‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’ series. She wrote, directed, produced and was the lead actress in her latest horror short film Worry Dolls. She’s penning the pilot for a TV series, Hummingbird, she co-created that she sold to Amazon Studios that she will also Executive Produce. She’s currently writing a supernatural thriller for Paramount Players as well as developing other feature film and TV projects.

Director Statement

I wanted to tell a story about a strong female character that deals with the very real subject of trauma and violence towards women and blend it with my Mexican culture and mythology. Worry Dolls were a very important part of my childhood and I wanted to share an aspect of my culture with a wider audience who are not familiar with these dolls. I believe a great way to get across important social justice issues is through a horror lens. I love the horror genre and there is far too little representation of female filmmakers in the genre world, let alone Latina filmmakers. As a woman of color in this industry, I’m dedicated to promoting representation in front of and behind the camera.

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