CiNEOLA is a platform for Latin American stories, connecting audiences with diverse representations of Latinoamérica on film.

CiNEOLA + Frameline Present

Hazte Sentir

Dieter Deswarte & Casa Miga


In 2018, Brazil’s first shelter for LGBTQ+ refugees opened its doors in the city of Manaus, the largest city of the state of Amazonas. This collaborative documentary film tells the story of three Venezuelan residents trying to build a new life in this urban metropolis.

Director's Statement

Hazte Sentir is the result of a unique collaborative filmmaking process that strives towards a more ethical representation of documentary subjects and acknowledges the therapeutic potential of documentary making to support communities facing social stigma.

Our process is twofold. We begin by training up our participants in filmmaking skills in a series of workshops. For this we have carefully designed exercises that combine practical skills learning with opportunities for our participants to get to know each other in a safe, nurturing, and flexible environment.

Once we have completed our learning process, we then work towards creating a documentary story based on a series of scenes discussed and decided by the group. Participants film, record sound and interview each other during this process. By using a multi-camera set-up to record our scenes we ensure quality control and safeguard the edit. The building of trust and getting to know each other underpins everything that we do.

The edit is completed by a professional editor, but several rough cuts are presented to the group. Issues or concerns are discussed, and amendments are made where required. The process culminates in a public screening where the participants share their stories for the first time in front of a supportive audience of families, friends and peer professionals. This premiere is integral to our process as a celebration of self.


directors Dieter Deswarte & Casa Miga residents producers Dieter Deswarte & Rose Fraser composer Jorge Puig production company Yarrow Films