Director, actress, writer, producer, and editor Isabel Sandoval is the Filipina filmmaker who made history at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival’s Giornate degli Autori section with the first film directed by and starring a trans woman of color ever to screen in competition. Lingua Franca currently is a nominee for the GLAAD Outstanding Film, Limited Release and the Film Independent John Cassavetes Spirit Award.
Lingua Franca is Ms. Sandoval’s first feature filmed in the U.S. and her third feature as director. After Venice, Lingua Franca traveled a global film festival journey into 2020 by way of the AFI Fest, BFI London Film Festival, American Film Festival Wroclaw, International Film Festival of India Goa, Festival International du Film de Mons, Palm Springs Film Festival, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, Hamburg International Film Festival, Vinokino Film Festival, Everybody’s Perfect LGBT Film Festival, Gender Bender Film Festival, Slovak Queer Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, and Bentonville Film Festival — where it won Best Narrative Feature.
Theatrical distribution, via Ava DuVernay’s Array Now initiative, followed and Lingua Franca is now available on Netflix.
Isabel Sandoval is a graduate from the University of San Carlos in Cebu, Philippines and earned her MBA as a graduate of NYU Stern School of Business, and currently lives in New York.
Michele Josue is an Emmy award-winning Filipinx filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her critically acclaimed feature-film debut “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” is the winner of 10 Best Documentary and Audience Choice Awards from festivals worldwide and boasts a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film won the 2016 Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Special Class Special.” Michele is the Executive Producer, Director, and Lead Editor of “Happy Jail,” the Netflix Original documentary series about the Filipino jail that is home to the world-famous “Dancing Inmates.”
Anthea Neri-Best is an actress, singer, and human empowerment ambassador who appears as Kailani on Tacoma FD on TruTV, Mr. Mayor on NBC and as a chef and judge on SoYummy TV’s HMExpress. She is also a Producer for a Dark-Comedy Horror Film “FACE ON”. She can also be seen in numerous commercials, video games, and heard as the co-host of the Pretty Rich Podcast. Throughout her career, Anthea has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Dodgers Stadium and LA Staples Center ; and she was a top-four finalist on GMA7’s Pinoy Pop Superstar. In addition, she has appeared in Here Lies Love, Oliver!, Mamma Mia!, and the off-Broadway musical, Disenchanted.
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