06-24 November 2019



New American Perspectives
Isabel Sandoval

United States, Philippines

2019 / 94’ / Hawaii Premiere / Tagalog


As part of the New American Perspectives program, director Isabel Sandoval will be in attendance for a special post-screening Q&A. 

Can we all speak plainly and truthfully with each other … through love? LINGUA FRANCA approaches this question within the context of a world that often sets people apart. This groundbreaking film written and directed by a trans woman of color reveals the many intersecting hurdles faced by undocumented transgender workers in America today.

Olivia (Isabel Sandoval) is a domestic caregiver for an elderly woman in Brooklyn, whose time living in the US is running out. When Olivia runs out of options to attain legal status in the US, she becomes romantically involved with Alex (Eamon Farren), her employer’s adult grandson, in the pursuit of a marriage-based green card. Their relationship is suddenly challenged when Alex discovers the truth about her, and Olivia has to navigate her way to her lived truth.

Subtle and sensitive, LINGUA FRANCA is “a heartfelt personal statement rooted in timely, gripping issues that obviously resonate deeply with its author, notably trans rights and Trump-era immigration anxieties” (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER).

-Adrian Alarilla


Isabel Sandoval is a New York-based Filipina filmmaker and MacDowell Fellow in film. She is the first transgender director to compete at the Venice and BFI London Film Festivals. Her three dramatic features SEÑORITA, APPARITION, LINGUA FRANCA) have competed and screened at prestigious international festivals including Locarno, Busan, Thessaloniki, Stockholm, Goteborg, Hamburg, Vancouver, Goa and Hawaii. Her work has been supported by the Tribeca Film Institute, SFFILM, NYFA, MOME, IFP and Frameline.

Tuesday 12 19:45 - 21:39Regal Dole Cannery 16
Wednesday 13 18:15 - 20:09Regal Dole Cannery 16
DirectorIsabel Sandoval.
CastIsabel Sandoval, Lynn Cohen, Lev Gorn, Mark Nelson, Ari Barkan and Eamon Farren.
ScreenplayIsabel Sandoval.
CinematographerIsaac Banks.
SoundBarbaros Kaynak.

Jeremiah Abraham ... co-producer
Romulo Aromin Jr. ... executive producer
Nicole Cosgrove ... executive producer
Gigi Dement ... executive producer
RS Francisco ... executive producer
Jerome Kerkman ... producer
Sarah Brennan Kolb ... executive producer
Darlene Catly Malimas ... producer
Pete McClellan ... line producer
Cecilia Mejia ... co-producer
Vincent R. Nebrida ... executive producer (as Ting Nebrida)
Fernando Ortigas ... executive producer
E.A. Rocha ... executive producer
Isabel Sandoval ... producer
Aaron Schillinger ... associate producer
Dax Stringer ... associate producer
Jhett Tolentino ... producer
Carlo Velayo ... producer
Samuel S. Verzosa ... executive producer

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