Alex (Eamon Farren), a small-time offender, returns to New York after spending time in prison. His family takes him home and gets him a job in a slaughterhouse, however—old habits die hard and it’s not easy to go straight. He is supposed to accompany his babushka (who’s a New York Jew), who has a professional Filipino caregiver. Olivia (played by Isabel Sandoval, the movie director herself) knows her stuff and has gets along well with the old lady. However, she is in the United States illegally. She lives in constant fear of being deported—Trump rants about immigrants on the radio, while ICE agents hunt down illegals in the streets. Marriage looks like a way out but it’s not that simple... Alex and Olivia, who are both in rather unpleasant situation, become friends and then lovers. But Olivia’s legal status and gender identity are complicated. Will a simple lad, who has his own problems, be able to understand and accept her? An independent drama, Lingua Franca, was screened at Venice Days section of Venice Film Festival, where Isabel Sandoval was the first transgender woman to present her movie.
Born in the Philippines, film director, screenwriter, editor, producer, and an actress who lives currently in New York. Her films were screened at festivals in Locarno, London or Busan, and in New York Museum of Modern Art. Lingua Franca is her third feature film and the first made after gender transition. The film debuted at Venice Film Festival, where she was the first transgender woman to present her movie.
2009 Señorita (short)
2019 Lingua Franca