Isabel Sandoval wins Best Actress for Lingua Franca in Russia

Isabel Sandoval Best Actress
Isabel Sandoval, a trans woman herself, took on the lead role in Lingua Franca which tells the story of an undocumented Filipina trans woman working in Brighton, New York

Isabel Sandoval has won the Best Actress award for her lead role in “Lingua Franca” at the 18th Pacific Meridian International Film Festival of Asian Pacific Countries in Vladivostok, Russia.

The groundbreaking filmmaker who wrote and directed Lingua Franca was commended for her role as Olivia, an undocumented Filipina trans woman working as a caregiver to an elderly woman in New York.

“I just won Best Actress for LINGUA FRANCA in Russia! Here I am on video thanking the jury at the 18th Pacific Meridian Int’l Film Festival,” Sandoval wrote on Twitter on October 17, 2020.

The Filipino auteur also shares that her win as a trans woman herself was pointed out by Russian outlet Ozine as “important in the context of Russian festival history considering that the jury was Russian.”

The Pacific Meridian is the annual International Film Festival of Asian Pacific countries, established in 2003, and held early autumn in Vladivostok every year, on the shores of the Sea of Japan.

Sandoval’s third feature film has already received much praise from international critics and competitions. It recently won Best Narrative Feature at the Oslo/Fusion International Film Festival and again at the Bentonville Film Festival.

Lingua Franca is described as a romantic drama between two immigrants in Brighton, New York, and is lauded for the realistic portrayal of the social issues faced by Filipino undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

Produced by multi-awarded Broadway producer Jhett Tolentino, the film’s world premiere at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival made history as the first film directed and starred by a trans woman of color to be showcased in the festival.

Lingua Franca film has been available on Netflix since August 26, 2020, in selected countries. Philippine viewers can finally catch the award-winning film on Cinema ’76 this November 6, 2020, according to TBA Studios.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Isabel Sandoval for winning Best Actress for Lingua Franca at the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival in Russia.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.