Los Angeles, California | Film Feature

Documentary, Experimental

Alice Airoldi

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $22,204 for development. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

107 supporters | followers

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Fronteiras is a film about immigrants, made by immigrants. By chronicling the silent brazilian diaspora we position ourselves against all of those who wish to build more walls and create more divisions. We propose an intimate and decolonized look into the immigration melting pot of the U.S.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

It will take more than one term to undo the unconstitutional attacks on immigrant communities around this country. As immigrant filmmakers, we believe that cinema can play a decisive role in reforming the immigration system, as well as being an agent for a broader intersectional progressive agenda.

The Story

Para versão em português, clique aqui

Para la versión en español, clic aquí

Per la versione in italiano, clicca qui



The production team of the Fronteiras film is happy to announce that Os Angelinos is over 100% funded after only 5 days of campaigning. What this campaign has shown so far is that it is indeed possible to present a multi-lingual film that speaks to a larger audience, because this country is multilingual. Given the amazing turnaround of this campaign, we want to take the next step and launch our stretch goal for O Estrangeiro, chapter two of Fronteiras.
All the financial materials presented earlier in this campaign refer to chapter one, Os Angelinos. Our stretch goal consists of increasing $15,286 to our original amount of $17,633.

Our updated goal for chapters I and II is $32,929.

The following breakdown reflects the different production steps we can afford and achieve in relation to chapter two, O Estrangeiro:

-  If we raise an additional 9% ($1,586) we can afford local expenses 
-  If we raise an additional 20% ($2,000) we can afford production expenses
-  If we raise an additional 52% ($5,700) we can afford film expenses
-  If we raise an additional 85% ($6,000) we can afford production staff



The zeitgeist of a post 9/11 society is anti-immigrant. As filmmakers, we believe that the only way to start a film like ours is by giving voices to all the people directly impacted by this - immigrants.

The first chapter of our film, “Os Angelinos” is a cinematographic investigation of one of the largest immigrant counties in the nation. Instead of conventional interviews, we asked our subjects to write personal testimonies that will be combined into a multi-linguistic open letter to Los Angeles. Our collaborators will narrate their own stories in their respective languages. They will explore questions of distance, belonging and identity as an attempt to construct a direct dialogue between the prosperous idea of the city and its crude reality.



In 'Os Angelinos' we are collaborating with a diverse group of immigrant artists from different backgrounds who live and work in Los Angeles. Our collaborators will reflect upon their childhood ideas of home compared to their current residence. They will explore themes of cultural diversity from within a city historically marked by ethnic and racial segregation.


- Alejandro Armas, Ecuadorian photographer

- Ilca Andrade, Cape Verdean actress and director

- Frida Cano, Mexican curator and visual artist

- Yosuke Kitazawa, Japanese producer

- Denise Kuhmalo, Zimbabwean director, writer and model

- Brenda Nascimento, Angolan actress

- Toni Rodriguez, Filipino singer

- Elham Sagharchi, Iranian painter



The transition between chapters one and two represents a shift in the narrator. Instead of presenting a collective voice, “O Estrangeiro” is intimate and personal. The chapter investigates film directors João and Sylvie’s “green card marriage” in San Francisco. It delves deep into how unsettling the U.S. immigration process is as it discusses broader concepts of heritage, language and distant relationships. The camera assumes a personal documentary aesthetic as João poetically narrates his convoluted experience.




Moreover, O Estrangeiro will document the historical significance of the Bay Area for the Sanctuary Movement. Through archival footage research and film manipulation, we investigate Bay Area landmarks of immigration resistance dating back to the 1970’s when the first sanctuary resolutions were put in effect. The purpose of this chapter is to understand the pivotal repercussions of these birthstone sanctuary legislations for the development of comprehensive immigration reform. Thus, constructing a narrative between the victories achieved by the Sanctuary Movement of late 20thcentury and legislative battles still to come.



The endless arguments between mediums doesn't exist in Fronteiras, as we freely navigate between film and digital in order to tell our stories in the best way possible without compromising form, aesthetic, and content.



Boyle Heights - still from Os Angelinos


"Os Angelinos" will use 16mm color film shot with an old bolex camera. We want to use analog media to record and remember immigrant stories in a physical medium; one that tells a longstanding story and one that perseveres throughout the days.


stills from Os Angelinos


For the second chapter, O Estrangeiro", we will also shoot in 16mm, but this time our footage will undergo experimental developing and scanning techniques. By pushing and pulling the limits of the negative, we will construct a troublesome narrative of love, resistance and self-affirmation.



stills from Escudo Meu (2018) by João Vieira  


Finally, chapter three, "Memórias", will be shot in sync-sound digital form. The previous aspect ratio (4:3) will expand to (1:85:1), thus mimicking the “revealing” of the hidden brazuca community (brasileiros who live in the U.S.). Our decision to adopt a digital medium here will allow us to never stop recording the conversations between director and subject. 



"Duas Mães" (2017) photo series by João Vieira


Fronteiras is the Portuguese word for borders. I chose this title to position ourselves against all of those who wish to build more walls, lay down more concrete and create more divisions.

The city of Los Angeles is segregated by one’s ethnicity and despite the fame of a progressive capital, the different languages spoken in this town are completely disregarded by the entertainment industry.

I was born by the Guanabara Bay and reborn as an immigrant by the San Francisco Bay. Home for me is not a physical address, but rather the immense ocean. My immigration process opened my eyes to the amount of guilt and anxiety that immigrants carry over a piece of paper.

The State of Massachusetts is the home of the largest population of brasileiros outside Brasil, and yet very few brasileiros and estadounidenses know about the existence of this unique diaspora. 

All in all, Fronteiras aims to expose and tear down physical and symbolic barriers that separate immigrants from contemporary American society: linguistic, cultural and geo-political obstacles. By doing so, we create an intimate and decolonized look into the immigration melting pot of the United States.





We draw references from the city-symphonies of Joris Ivens' "Valpariso" and Chris Marker’s "Sunless". Nevertheless, Os Angelinos differs in the sense that it intimately portrays a city divided in neighborhoods and segregated by monumental highways, freeways and overpasses.

The second chapter, O Estrangeiro, combines directors João and Sylvie’s green card marriage story with a historical investigation on the roots of the Sanctuary movement in the Bay Area. Personal documentaries like Agnès Varda’s “The Beaches of Àgnes'' will serve here as references so we can connect one’s personal story within a historical context.



The final chapter of Fronteiras, Memórias, chronicles the silent imigração brasileira to the State of Massachusetts, home to the largest population of brasileiros outside Brasil. Inspired by Jean Rouch’s “Chronicle of the Summer” this act will behave in the form of “cinéma vérité” as we interview local brazuca community leaders and witness their field work.



The city of Los Angeles is one of the protagonists of our film. It’s one of the largest immigrant counties of the country, and we want to document its true nature. From the unique architecture of Chinatown, to the historical streets of Boyle Heights, Downtown’s large buildings, all the way to the gated mansions in Brentwood. We want to do justice to the city that Angelenos live in every day, not an idyllic version of it.

Los Angeles is a city profoundly divided, with a history of segregation and displacement. Its monumental highways, freeways and overpasses have divided neighborhoods and displaced communities, and we want to acknowledge this history and bring it to light.

Each shot is meticulously researched and our key crew spends a lot of time wandering around Los Angeles to find hidden spots, and we’re excited to find more hidden gems as we shoot the rest of this chapter.




Over the Fall of 2020 we shot a quarter of the footage for Chapter 1 and gathered the first testimonies. We worked with AudioBrew, an audio post production company, to finish a short film that would display the tone of Chapter 1 as well as show the footage and testimonies we gathered. The funds raised in this campaign will allow us to complete Chapter 1, the first third of our film, and set us apart from other projects looking for funding.

Once production is wrapped for Chapter #1 we will move into post production. The testimonies will all be recorded in a recording studio and we will work on scoring and color correction. From then, we will pitch the project to production companies, apply to documentary grants and do everything in our power to be able to shoot Chapter #3 in Boston in 2022, the year in which Brazil’s current president Jair Bolsonaro will be up for reelection, together with Charlie Baker, the governor of Massachusetts.

The challenges of independent filmmaking during an era of COVID-19 are many: risk of crew getting sick, significantly less funding opportunities, general lockdowns and travel restrictions. That is why we have designed a flexible and long-term production calendar. We will avoid airplane travels until Spring of 2022, when we hope the roll out of vaccine reaches the entire country and we will run all production meetings online.

We will shoot the California segments with a skeleton crew consisting of our producer, director and co-director, cinematographer and an assistant camera. We are requiring that our crew get tested regularly before and during the shoots. Production will also provide PPE equipment. 




Fronteiras was born out of witnessing the rise of anti-immigrant rhetoric to the highest levels of government in the United States and around the globe. The presidential election of Donald Trump represented a turning point in the reactionary movement because it took advantage of a anti-immigrant zeitgeist of a post 9/11 society and reduced complex issues to xenophobic bravados.

As immigrants who came to this country in 2015, trumpism has always been part of our filmmaking practices. We believe that cinema can play a decisive role in reforming the immigration system, as well as being an agent for a broader intersectional progressive agenda. And it is with that intent, that we have set ourselves to produce this important documentary.



The money we hope to raise will cover different sides of the production and post-production process, below is a more detailed breakdown of it:  





We are also an art collective! If you’re interested in learning more about our projects, sign up to our newsletter through our website:

You can follow us on socials and help spread the world about Fronteiras! fronteiras.collective














Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Film purchase and development

Costs $5,691

It's very important to us to shoot this film in 16mm color film [insert exact stock and whatnot].

Producing staff

Costs $4,000

To make this film we will have to compensate all of our collaborators and crew for their work.

Local expenses and PPE

Costs $1,606

Anything from meals to parking permits and hand sanitizer.

Craftie and meals

Costs $1,125

This will feed our five person crew over our 20-day shoot.

Bolex Maintenance

Costs $300

This will cover the cost of a professional evaluation and additional restoration of the camera

Post Production Expenses

Costs $2,160

This will cover high quality recordings of the testimonies and sound mixing

Donation to Westlake Community Table

Costs $800

We have partnered up with a non-profit that provides aid to unhoused population of McArthur Park

Leftover costs from short film

Costs $651

Outstanding costs for the post production of our sample short film.

Seed & Spark Fees

Costs $800

Seed&Spark fees amount to 5% of the total, so if we reach our goal that will be equivalent to $800

Fundraising costs

Costs $500

Fundraising has many costs, including the production of our Fronteiras Zine

About This Team

The key crew behind this film is mostly made up of immigrant filmmakers, their stories and different perspective bring the diversity necessary to bring this project to life in the most authentic way. 


João Vieria

Director, Producer & Writer

Originally from Brazil, João Vieira moved to the U.S. to pursue his B.F.A. in visual media arts at Emerson College. Leaving the comfort of his homeland was the hardest thing he has ever done. Vieira values the personal growth he undertook as an immigrant as necessary to understand himself as an artist and to forge an independent future. He creates self-reflective investigations using experimental analog photography and filmmaking to explore concepts of homes, family and language.


Sylvie Sutton

Director & Editor

Sylvie Sutton was born and raised in San Francisco. She graduated from Emerson College in the Spring of 2019 with a B.F.A in visual media arts. She is a multi-disciplinary artist, primarily interested in photography and filmmaking. Her work revolves around topics of body-image, motherhood and languages. She speaks French and is learning her partner’s mother-language - Portuguese.

Alice Airoldi


Alice Airoldi is an LA based filmmaker born and raised in Milan, Italy. She has directed several short films and
music videos, her latest award-winning film 'The Same Story' is currently in the festival circuit. Alice is devoted to finding new and fresh perspectives to tell stories that push for social change. In her free time, she can be seen roller skating near the beach or playing with her cat Marcello.


Adriana Barbosa

Associate Producer

Adriana is a Mexican-Brazilian filmmaker based in Los Angeles, US. Her work focuses on non-fiction cinema, experimental and hybrid narratives, addressing themes like immigration, colonization, LGBTQ+ rights, identity and faith as resistance. She directed the award winning shorts “Ferroada”, “La Flaca” and the feature documentary “Madrigal for a Living Poet”. She recently premiered the short film “Same/Different/Both/Neither at IDFA. She is currently producing feature documentaries and developing her first narrative feature to be produced between Mexico and the US.


Allison Nguyen


Los Angeles and Saigon based photographer-cinematographer. In 2018, she became greatly influenced by analog format and started applying the idea of imperfection and distinctiveness more in her work. As a multi-skilled artist with a passion for storytelling in fashion film, her work has been featured on Autre Magazine and Schön Magazine as well as brands’ websites.

Current Team