Deadline — 25.08.2020
Lingua Franca marks many firsts for filmmaker Isabel Sandoval. Originally from the Philippines, the drama marks Sandoval’s first feature shot in the United States and it made history at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival Venice Days program as the first film directed and starring an openly trans woman of color to screen in competition. Although these are remarkable firsts, Lingua Franca is noteworthy turning point for Sandoval as it not only establishes her voice as an auteur but shines the light on narratives from the Filipino community — which are seldom seen in film and TV.
Sandoval’s previous films Senorita (2011) and Apparition (2012) served as stepping stones for Lingua Franca and since premiering at Venice, the filmmaker has left quite an impression with her distinct voice, which further showcases the importance of the diversity of stories and perspectives within the Asian and Asian American community — specifically the Filipino community. She will push it even further with her upcoming Tropical Gothic, a 16th-century surrealist drama about the haunting of a Spanish conquistador in the Philippine islands.
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