Film Academy invites Cebuana filmmaker Isabel Sandoval to become a new member

Published June 30, 2022, 1:41 PM

by John Legaspi

Among those joining her are singer Billie Eilish, actors Jamie Dornan and Ariana DeBose, and Netflix’s US publicity chief Michelle Slavich

Before the awards and speeches are given on the Oscars stage, a lot goes into the process of getting there. Among those who have such daunting tasks are The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ members as they vote on who and what films get nominated and eventually win.

This year, the Film Academy has sent out invitations to 397 individuals from the global film community to be part of its organization, one of them is Filipino filmmaker Isabel Sandoval.

Isabel Sandoval (Still from ‘Lingua Franca’)

“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to 397 distinguished artists and executives to join the organization in 2022,” it said in a statement. “Membership selection is based on professional qualifications, with an ongoing commitment to representation, inclusion, and equity. This year’s class of invitees includes 71 Oscar nominees, including 15 winners.”

Hailing from Cebu, Isabel is known for directing, writing, and editing films like “Aparisyon,” which featured in the 2012 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Her 2019 drama film “Lingua Franca” premiered and made a mark at that year’s Venice Film Festival. The film centers on an undocumented trans woman caregiver living in New York who is desperate to have a green card.

“The film succeeded internationally for its nuance and subtlety,” Isabel said in a previous report by the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “It’s neither didactic nor preachy, considering it sounds like a textbook social-issue drama on paper. I won’t deprive Filipino audiences the experience of discovering the merits of my film—aesthetically, morally, and politically—on their own.”

Isabel then went on to create a featurette titled “Shangri-la” in collaboration with fashion brand Miu Miu. In 2021, she made her US TV debut by directing an episode of the FX drama series “Under the Banner of Heaven,” which featured Andrew Garfield.

“Be ambitious and don’t be afraid to take risks,” the MBA holder in Media and Entertainment from New York University advised. “Make a film that no one else could make, and do it in a style or aesthetic that’s strongly bold and original.”

Apart from Isabel, the Film Academy has also extended its invitation to singer Billie Eilish, actors Jamie Dornan and Ariana DeBose, and Netflix’s US publicity chief Michelle Slavich, among others. Check out the full list here.

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