USA / 2024 / 94 min / English / LGBTQ+ Comedy Romance

Javi, an undocumented immigrant facing imminent deportation, unexpectedly reunites with his long-lost best friend, Hunter, a vivacious bachelor seeking deeper connections. Together, they embark on a heartfelt journey to prevent Javi’s expulsion from the only country he has ever called home.

A light-hearted comedy with two serious subplots.  Really likeable performances by the three leads, Denis Shepherd as Hunter, Rafael Silva as Javi and Caroline Portu as Tracy, win you over.  Spencer Cohen puts together a fun romp with just enough obstacles to keep you hopping non-stop from laughs to suspense.

DIRECTOR: Spencer Cohen, an award-winning Boston-based filmmaker, is renowned for amplifying unheard voices through his storytelling. His filmmaking journey began in high school, where he made endearingly awkward sketches using his father’s old camcorder.

Spencer has held diverse roles in the film industry. He’s been a cue card holder for actor Eric Roberts, worked in the art department as a gravedigger for a sci-fi zombie movie, and has significant experience as a film editor and producer 

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT: “The film is born from the life of my best friend Alberto (Beto) and his experiences as an undocumented immigrant. Despite our longstanding friendship since middle school, I was unaware of Beto’s undocumented status and the constant fear of deportation he lived with until high school. The introduction of DACA in 2012 offered Beto temporary relief from this fear, allowing him to work legally in the US.

However, in 2016, when DACA’s existence was threatened, Beto and I half-jokingly considered marriage as a desperate solution. It was a stark reminder that Beto, as American as myself, faced the possibility of being sent back to a country he barely remembered. This period of uncertainty and anxiety led me to begin writing “The Compatriots,” not only as a personal outlet but also to spark conversation about immigration issues.

Through learning about Dreamers – undocumented Americans brought here as children – I realized the depth of their predicament: trapped in a system offering no clear path to citizenship. This film became a personal mission to shed light on the struggles of approximately 3.6 million people in the US who, despite being integral parts of American society, live in constant fear of deportation.

Despite widespread support for granting Dreamers permanent status, political action remains elusive. This film questions whether the lack of progress is due to the issue’s low priority in political agendas or a lack of personal connection among most Americans.

“The Compatriots” aims to bridge this gap. While the character of Javi, loosely based on Beto, differs in many aspects, he represents the everyday challenges faced by undocumented individuals. My hope is for the audience to see Javi as a friend, to empathize with his plight, and to be inspired to advocate for policy changes that provide security and permanence for the millions like him in this country.

Lastly, reflecting on my own heritage as a descendant of immigrants who fled antisemitism in the 1920s, I recognize the importance of America’s identity as a nation of immigrants. “The Compatriots” is a tribute to this heritage and a call to support all who seek a better life on these shores.

Special Guest: Spencer Cohen

Sponsored by:


DIRECTOR(S): Spencer Cohen
SCREENWRITER(S): Spencer Cohen
PRODUCER(S): Jennifer Potts, Sara Robin, Victoria Hersey, Alberto Sayan
CAST: Rafael Silva, Denis Shepherd, Caroline Portu, Dakota Lustick, Alfredo Huereca / Contact:

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