In corruption-ridden 1970s Manila, a jaded female police detective, unknowingly the mastermind behind a successful heist, teams up with an obsessively truth-seeking detective partner to crack the very crime she orchestrated.
Isabel Sandoval is a Philippine-born filmmaker who has been touted by The Criterion Collection “as one of the most exciting and multi talented filmmakers on the indie scene with a bold approach to cinematic style.” She has received accolades from numerous critics as well as award-giving bodies. The Museum of Modern Art has recognized her as a “rarity among the young generation of Filipino filmmakers for her muted and serene aesthetic.”
Her recent films include “Lingua Franca” (2019), nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and “Shangri-La” (2021), both premiered at Venice International Film Festival. In 2022, she starred in “Maria Schneider 1983,” which won the 2023 César for Best Documentary Short after premiering at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.
Isabel’s success in arthouse cinema opened doors to Hollywood. In 2022, she directed a praised episode of FX’s “Under The Banner of Heaven” and received a Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards nomination. She also directed episodes of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” and is set to direct/produce “The House of Mirth” adaptation.
Aside from directing and making films, Isabel also served as the jury president of the Sutherland Award at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival and on the Queer Palm jury at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. In August 2023 she was on the First Feature jury at the Locarno Film Festival.
Her fourth Philippine-set feature Tropical Gothic received a development prize at the 2021 Berlinale. It will be lensed by Benjamin Loeb and produced by Big Beach and Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett’s production company, Dirty Films.
In 2022 Isabel was invited to join the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). For the 2023-2024 academic year Isabel has been appointed Artist-in-Residence at the New York University Asian/Pacific/American Institute. Her inaugural program is a panel on Migrant Asian Cinema.
Alemberg ANG was a school teacher for ten years before stumbling into his love for film producing. His first feature was Alvin Yapan’s The Rapture of Fe about a battered wife’s journey towards freedom (2009, Special Jury Prize at Cinemalaya and Best Digital Feature at Cairo International Film Festival). This started a successful collaboration between Yapan and Ang with films like Pilgrim Lovers about a sacristan haunted by a dancing statue of the Child Jesus (2011, Warsaw Film Festival), The Dance of Two Left Feet about two young men learning to understand their emotions through dance and poetry (2011, Best Picture at Gawad Urian), and Titser a television series about a young woman’s journey to triumph over the public school system (2013, Best Drama at Catholic Mass Media Awards, Hildegarde Awards for Women in Media and Communication, and NHK’s Japan Prize).
Working with filmmakers mostly on their first and second features, his filmography includes: Whammy Alcazaren’s Bold Eagle about a gay thirty-something online sex worker’s existential angst (2023, Fantasia and NYFF), Chie Hayakawa’s Plan 75 about Japan’s social systems and elderly care (2022, Camera D’or Special Mention, Un Certain Regard at Cannes), Joseph Mangat’s Divine Factory about a Catholic factory and its LGBTQ+ employees (2022, Dok Leipzig), Petersen Vargas’s How to Die Young in Manila about a teenager making sense of the mysterious killings happening in his community (2020, Busan), and Loy Arcenas’ The Portrait, a period musical based on National Artist Nick Joaquin’s play Portrait of the Artist as Filipino (2017, Best Picture at Metro Manila FF, Asian Spirit Competition at Tokyo).
Ang has participated at the Rotterdam Lab, Berlinale Talents, Locarno Open Doors, Cinemart, Tribeca Film Institute Network, Cannes Cinefondation Atelier, La Fabrique Cinema du Monde, IDFA Producers Connection, and EAVE Producers Workshop. Locally, his films have won awards at the Gawad Urian, Young Critics Circle, Film Academy of the Philippines, Cinemalaya, QCinema, among others.
With his production company Daluyong Studios, Alemberg aims to produce films that seek to give cultural minorities a voice in world cinema.