Award Winning Filmmaker, Director, Writer, Editor, Actor
(aka Dai Belquer)
Eight years ago I was arriving in the US to start a new life. Immigration is a complex and delicate process. It’s a very deep transformation. You have no choice but to let go. It’s a form of death, many deaths. It’s also a rebirth, many rebirths.
Eight years ago I’d start a long process of many consecutive deaths and rebirths. And with it I started to weave and co-create a new reality. With a mix of my deepest fears and many painful challenges that I’ve never expected to face, I began to imagine. And then to believe. And then to create, to write and to edit my own films to start everything again. But in a totally different way.
Before becoming a filmmaker, my professional experience came from my acting career in Brazil: I was always in front of the cameras or on a stage.
My interest in making films started after I arrived in the US: because I didn’t speak English, I could not act. Editing was the way I found to keep doing my art. My editing process was mostly intuitive.
Editing a film for me is like facing a puzzle to be solved. My films started as puzzles.
And I started to see everything as film material. I started to put my impressions about life and the world, discussing many issues in my films, global issues mirroring my original country. I started to find a voice, my own voice. And with it I became a filmmaker.
For me, it’s important and urgent to put different perspectives on the screen. Real perspectives. The world needs it. With materials of life experiences, I dig deep into my own sensibility and through my perspective as a Latin American woman, immigrant and mother I make these films. Because my films are very poetic and my editing has its own way to conduct the audience, I believe that I’m creating and solidifying my own style.
(click on the picture to watch my portfolio)
2024 (to be released)
After I started the MFA Program in Film and Media Arts at Temple University, I wrote, directed and acted in my very first short fiction film. Little Pleasures is a psychological thriller about a Latin American female immigrant who recently became a mother. It brings up all challenges related to immigration and motherhood and the deep transformation of identity that both processes can evoke.
Phoenix Through the Mirror
2024 (work in progress)
For the second semester of 2024, I'll release my second remote and quarantined short documentary named Phoenix Through the Mirror. The film is a poetic documentary film about three Latin American women, at different ages and situations in life, who need to let go of their hair. Two of them due to a medical treatment for cancer and the other to complete a deep process of self transformation. It’s a film about self love, self care and feminine social image.
In 2022 I released my first feature film that is a poetic experimental and independent documentary created from a material produced by a collective of artists in 2013 in Brazil. Burning Ballad - or Pira Poesia in Portuguese - received the Award for Merit in Revolution and Reform and Merit for Direction by "Docs Without Borders Film Festival" in 2022, in the US; Finalist by "4theatre selection" in 2022 and was Officially Selected by "Philadelphia Latino Film Festival 2022" - as US Premiere and "Kalakari Film Festival & Awards 2022" in India - as World Premiere. There are images from many different places in the film: Northeast, South and Southeast regions in Brazil and also from South Africa, Mozambique and United States. It’s a film where I explore a poetic vision that raises urgent questions on censorship, spiritual awareness, economic injustice and segregation through the legacy of the Brazilian poet and composer Torquato Neto. The poet was one of the creators of Tropicalia - the artistic and counterculture wave that emerged in the late 1960's during some of the harshest years of the military dictatorship.
The film was Invited to be screened in the "Integration Week of Celso Lisboa School of Arts College" for cinema and theater students in Rio, Brazil, August, 2022. I was Invited to write a chapter about Burning Ballad process in the new book "Torquato Neto Obra Inacabada", April, 2022. The book is a partnership with Piauí Federal University in Brazil and it is about the poet's legacy and works after his death in 1972. The film was screened in the event "Torquato 50 years", a celebration of Torquato's 50th death anniversary and the 100th year of anniversary of the "Modern Art Week" with the release of the aforementioned book in Teresina, Piauí, Brazil, November, 2022. In April of 2023, it happened the Pre Screening of the film in the Estação Botafogo Movie Theater, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In November of 2023, the film was Screened in the Consulate General of Brazil in New York, during the event A Roda, by International Brazilian Opera Company. (click on the image to watch the trailer)
In 2020 after the pandemic started I released Caramujo, a totally remote and independent documentary short about natural birth, c-section surgery culture and obstetric violence in Brazil during COVID quarantine. While COVID-19 pandemic is making huge changes in our lives and perspectives, a Latin American quarantined pregnant woman needs to struggle against a whole system to give birth the way she wants. Caramujo received Merit Award for Social Issues by “Docs Without Borders Film Festival 2021” in the US; was selected Finalist by “Create from Home Film Festival 2020”, Finalist for Best Female Director by "San Francisco Arthouse Short Festival 2022", Honorable Mention by "Deep Focus Film Festival 2022" and Semi-Finalist by “Rhode Island International Film Festival 2020” and by “Jelly Film Festival 2021”, and Officially Selected by “New Faces New Voices Film Festival 2020”, “2020 Directors Circle Festivals of Shorts”, “Other Venice Film Festival 2021”- all of them in the US; "Demetera International Short Film Festival 2021" in Paris, France and "Kalakari Film Festival & Awards 2021" in India. The film was Invited to be screened by “Flickers' Between Takes: A Cinema Fantasia 2020” a Special Event of Cinematic Works that demonstrate the resiliency and tenacity of the human spirit. The film was Invited to participate in the "45th performance of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers' Inhale Performance Series", in "Inhale on Camera event" in Philadelphia, June, 2021. In April of 2023, the film was Screened in Brazil, Londrina, in Sesc Cadeião in an Event named "Short Films made by Women". (click on the image to watch the film)
Some of US
In 2016 I created Some of US, a documentary short film with a poetic reflection about Iranian refugees and immigrants that shows a touch of the powerful Persian culture. I interviewed a native Iranian immigrant and created with his perspective a film in two languages, English and Farsi, about the delicate and painful feeling of an immigrant looking at his original country.
From the conception of Some of US I realized that there is a connection between immigrants, no matter where they come from. I see this connection as "an outsider looking in” at our original countries that results in a cultural exchange between our countries and the US. It's a spontaneous practice of the cultural preservation of our former cultures. The documentary short is a poetic reflexion about immigration and freedom - how immigration relates to a deep dive inside ourselves and to a connection between cultures. "Some of US” was Officially Selected by "Aword Indie 50 min Film Festival" in Los Angeles, US; “FIC-ESMI Festival” in Buenos Aires, Argentina; “The Americas Film Festival of New York” in New York, US; “FICP” in Patagonia, Argentina; "VII Visualizame” in Madrid, Spain; and “Her Story - Women’s History Month Film Salon” in Philadelphia, US; between 2016 and 2020.
In 2015 I made my very first short Gigoia Island, a film about a philosophical discussion between two women. The film was Awarded by “Festival do Minuto”, a famous, long-standing 1 minute cinema festival in Brazil in 2016.