Carlo grew up in the town of Vevey in the Lake Geneva region in Switzerland. After attending art school, he navigated between graphic design, music, and writing. Moving to California, he enrolled at the San Francisco Theater Academy and turned his attention to the theater before moving to filmmaking.
His first film, Is It Heaven yet? premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1985. The film went on to be screened at festivals and in commercial releases around the world, gathering unanimous praise for its imaginative and unconventional brand of comedy. Is It Heaven Yet? played for thirteen consecutive weeks in Tokyo, making it one of the first successful American independent films in Japan.
Each of Carlo's subsequent feature-length narrative films received various awards and international distribution. In recent years, Carlo moved to a shorter format for his films, which range from satirical comedies to documentaries.