Davi Pretto | Drama, Fiction

2014 | 95 minutes | Brazil

Joao divides his time working as a crossdresser in gay bars and acting in small plays and onscreen. Tormented by his past, he starts to merge reality with the fiction he interprets.


Joao is a 50-year-old actor who lives with his 72-year-old mother, Celina. He divides his time between his work at night as a crossdresser in small gay bars and his parts in small plays, movies, and TV shows. Tormented and haunted by ghosts from his past, day after day Joao, starts to merge the reality in which he lives with the fiction he is interpreting.


"A character-study of a middle-aged Brazilian performer, which provocatively defies fiction/non-fiction categorization...A ruminative, deliberately elliptical and slightly alienating enterprise, Castanha intrigues and absorbs on a scene-by-scene basis." - The Hollywood Reporter

"This is not a reality TV showcase of some vapid performer; it is a revealing and probing examination into how a gay man ekes out a life under difficult conditions." - Gary M. Kramer, Indiewire

Main credits

Pretto, Davi (film director)
Pretto, Davi (screenwriter)
Castanha, Celina (on-screen participant)
Carlos Saldanha, João (on-screen participant)
Adão Barbosa, Zé (on-screen participant)
Wink, Paola (film producer)

Other credits

Cinematography, Glauco Firpo; editor, Bruno Carboni; music, Diego Poloni.

LGBTQ+,Personal Narrative,family,crossdressing,acting,performance,gender,sexuality,gender roles,gender identity,sexual orientation,gender equality,gender pronouns,gender studies,gender spectrum,gender norms,gender roles,gender stereotypes,sexual selection,sexualization,sexual awakening,puberty,pubescence,body image,appearance,body dissatisfaction,eating disorders,body acceptance,acceptance,body dysmorphic disorder,body dysmorphia,negative body image,distorted body image,confidence,self-esteem,self acceptance,fat acceptance,body acceptance,positive body image,negative body image,weight,fat,overweight,obesity,dance,performing arts,dramatics,music,musical theatre,musical theater,entertainment,performance,performer,performers,dancer,dancers,dancing,musical,pageantry,scenes,live performance,recorded performance,choreography,movement,choreographer,labor studies,employment studies,workers rights,workers’ rights,organizing,labor unions,trade unions,unions,industry,employment law,working class,labor rights,labor equity,employment,union organizing,labor organizing,labor rights movements,employment rights movements,workers’ rights movement,workers rights movements,health,healthy,physical health,mental health,emotional health,health equity,public health,health care,health policy,fitness,veracity,welfare,soundness,aging,age,old age,senior,youth,middle age,aging gracefully,advanced age,collective health,maturity; "Castanha"; Pragda Films
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Berlin International Film Festival; Art of the Real; Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival - Best Film New Trends

DIRECTOR: Davi Pretto


YEAR: 2014

GENRE: Drama, Fiction

LANGUAGE: Portuguese

COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: College, Adults



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