About Isabel Sandoval


Isabel Sandoval is a New York-based Filipina filmmaker and MacDowell Fellow in film. The Museum of Modern Art has cited her as a “rarity among the young generation of Filipino filmmakers” for her “muted, serene aesthetic.” She is the first transgender director to compete at the Venice and BFI London film festivals with the New York-set trans immigrant drama Lingua Franca. Her noir-inflected debut feature Señorita had its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival. This was followed by the Marcos-era nun drama Apparition, considered a contemporary Philippine film classic, which won awards at the Deauville and Hawaii film festivals after premiering in Busan.

Her three features—all female-centric dramas of interiority and displacement—have screened at prestigious international film festivals, including Thessaloniki, Stockholm, Vancouver, AFI Fest, and Palm Springs. Her work has been supported by the Tribeca Film Institute, New York Film Academy, MoMA, Independent Filmmaker Project, and Frameline. In November 2019, she received the SFFILM Westridge Foundation screenwriting grant for a new project, Baptism.

Isabel Sandoval’s latest feature film Lingua Franca is being distributed by ARRAY, Ava DuVernay’s film distribution company, and will premiere on Netflix in the United States on August 26, 2020.


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