Director, actress, writer, producer, and editor Isabel Sandoval is a trans Filipina filmmaking Auteur who made history with her third feature film Lingua Franca at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival’s Giornate degli Autori section. It is the first film directed by and starring a trans woman of color to screen in competition. Lingua Franca was nominated for the 2021 Film Independent John Cassavetes Spirit Award.
Sandoval made her directorial debut with the noir-styled Señorita, which world-premiered in competition at the Locarno Film Festival and earned her the Emerging Director Award at the Asian American International Film Festival. Her second feature as director was the Ferdinand Marcos-era nun drama Apparition, which won the Lotus Audience Award at the Deauville Asian Film Festival.
Now, her most recent endeavor is television. Sandoval recently directed the penultimate episode of the critically acclaimed FX limited series, Under the Banner of Heaven, based on Jon Krakauer’s book of the same name. The show premiered on Hulu on April 28th, 2022, and the episode she directed, Revelations, has a high possibility of being nominated for
I first spoke to Isabel three years ago when Lingua Franca just came out, and the multi-talented director is still as confident and earnest about her style, and abilities.
On this episode of the Scene 2 Seen Podcast, Sandoval and I discuss what it means to be an auteur filmmaker, working on Under The Banner of Heaven, and how being a trans woman of color is a political statement in Hollywood.
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