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Día de las Carpas - Short Film Review


Directed by: #JoãoDallStella

Written by: #MarinaKatoHoag

Poster for Día de las Carpas

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 of that their new friend has a magical secret that will change their lives forever.

There’s only one word that comes to mind; wondrous. After having watched João Dall’Stella’s stunning Día de las Carpas, I feel nothing but its everlasting beauty. Utilising current world topics with a fairytale twist, this exquisite story penned by Marina Kato Hoag is expertly brought to life with some delightful filmmaking.

This film is a wild but respectfully quaint piece. Its lively characters pull us into this realistic world that directly reflects ours, but withholds some secrecy that isn’t shared until the final moments. A touching and important story is at the core, and all the external features surrounding it create a luscious atmosphere that you just wish you could dive into.

Día de las Carpas swoons with technical brilliance, with superb editing by Yufei Skylar Zhang. Her eye for visual storytelling is simply fantastic. In her interview with us, she mentions wishing to someday work with director Noah Baumbach, and I can see that being a possibility, since the projects she’s worked on thus far each seem to radiate the rich energy that his films ooze. Her understanding of characters, movement, and timing is simply great. Accompanying the swift cut and vibrant colour palette is a dreamy, adventurous score by Carlos Felipe Silva; adding a wonderful amount of texture to the film, veering close to the likeness of Thomas Newman’s charming style. The stunning cinematography by Bethany Michalski wraps these fantastic elements together and it holds well. Every frame is a treat for the eyes.

The performances from the young cast is solid; one of the strongest bonds between child actors I’ve seen in a short film. The film closely follows the young talent as they run around, their performances exploding with life and energy. Each character feels whole, and the exuding aura between the group really sells the story. As the short comes to its mysterious but extremely pleasant end, every beat that came before reaches its resolution, making for a very satisfying finale.

Día de las Carpas takes us on a whole journey of discovery, wonder and experience. A story I surely won’t forget any time soon, and, since it’s now being developed into a feature film (under the mentorship of the Russo Brothers no less), it’s one I very much look forward to returning to. Dall’Stella’s skilful direction paired with Hoag’s incredible script makes this quite the watch.

Watch the trailer for Día de las Carpas below.



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