Private Desert

BNL People's Choice Award
Venice Film Festival
Fanheart3 Award ~ Graffetta d'Oro for Best Film
Venice Film Festival
Queer Lion
Venice Film Festival
Achingly beautiful and incredibly erotic.


Private Desert

“Remember when we talked about being alone in the world?” Sara is a genderfluid blue-collar worker who lives as her male birth identity Robson by day while caring for her religious grandmother in Sobradinho, a small town in the northeast of Brazil. Daniel, who teaches in a police academy in southern metropolis Curitiba, has been placed on unpaid leave after a violent incident that’s all over the news. The only thing holding him together is his online romance with Sara, whom he has never met in person. When she suddenly disappears, Daniel drives 2,000 miles across Brazil to find her. He posts Sara’s picture all over town but no one recognizes her, until he receives a mysterious call from someone claiming to know her and asking to meet. What follows is a journey of the heart that will change Sara and Daniel forever.

In the tradition of A Fantastic Woman and Strawberry and Chocolate, the film is both a swooning sun-baked romance and a triumphant affirmation of queer love and humanity at a time when LGBTQ+ rights are increasingly imperiled everywhere. An official selection of the Venice Film Festival and Brazil’s official submission to the 94th Academy Awards®, Private Desert boasts lush cinematography and a haunting atmospheric score. You’ll never hear “Total Eclipse of the Heart” the same again.

“Tackled with great delicacy and shored up by intense acting performances, resulting in a finely balanced film which questions the concept of personal freedom and the burden of the cages we erect in our own minds.” – Cineuropa

“A surprising and exquisite slow-burn film that pays off big time with an explosion of subtle warmth and eroticism.” – But Why Tho

"Brimming with electricity yet bathed in the transformative power of love.” – The Independent Critic
Not Rated
Drama, Romance, LGBTQ
Antonio Saboia, Thomas Aquino
Winner, BNL People's Choice Award, Venice Film Festival
Nominee, Fanheart3 Award ~ Graffetta d'Oro for Best Film, Venice Film Festival
Nominee, Queer Lion, Venice Film Festival
Beatrice Loayza, New York Times

Set in Brazil, where the crime rates against transgender and queer people are among the highest in the world, the L.G.B.T.Q. drama “Private Desert” follows a brawny police academy instructor, Daniel (Antonio Saboia), during a period of intense vulnerability — and, ultimately, transformation. In an ...

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