With the 2019 release of her breakthrough feature, Lingua Franca, Isabel Sandoval has emerged as one of the most exciting and multitalented filmmakers on the indie scene. Born in the Philippines and based in the U.S., she writes, directs, produces, edits, and stars in her work, exercising an extraordinary degree of creative control that allows her to probe deeply into the sociopolitical realities of the disempowered women she’s drawn to as subjects. Her bold approach to cinematic style reflects the depth of her film knowledge, which she acquired not through formal training but through pirated DVDs of art-house classics she found in a shopping center in Manila. During a recent visit to our office to shoot an introduction for her first two features, now playing on the Criterion Channel, Sandoval made sure to take a trip to our closet. While ecstatically browsing the shelves, she chatted with us about all-time favorites like The Age of Innocence and The Cranes Are Flying, and also selected a few movies she’s looking forward to seeing for the first time.
Check out the video above to find out what she took home, then head to the Channel to watch her films Señorita and Apparition.