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    Directed by



    87 min

    • Tagalog


    Tucked away in a remote forest, the convent of Adoration is inhabited by a group of nuns seeking a peaceful life of devotion and discipline, filling their days with nothing but mundane chores and prayers. But the wish for a life in isolation is threatened when President Ferdinand Marcos declares martial law, and political protests and chaos begin to infiltrate every corner of the archipelago. Suddenly, the nuns find themselves engulfed in violence and unrest that will eventually put their faith and conscience to the test.


    Mylene Dizon
    Jodi Sta. Maria Raquel Villavicencio
    Fides Cuyugan-Asensio Rustica Carpio
    Star Orjaliza
    Al Gatmaitan Madeleine Nicolas
    Angelita Raymundo
    Isabel Sandoval
    Jerry Gracio
    Jay Abello
    Isabel Sandoval
    Jerrold Tarog
    Teresa Barrozo
    Isabel Sandoval

    Isabel Sandoval

    USA, Philippines

    Every image or sound is a vessel for emotion: rapture, despair, sensuousness, enchantment, a combination of these. That makes cinema a kind of legerdemain: the art of sculpting such seemingly artificial elements to create a singular, genuine emotional experience in the viewer.

    An emerging auteur recognized by the Museum of Modern Art as a "rarity among the young generation of Filipino filmmakers for her muted, serene aesthetic", Isabel Sandoval is a US-based filmmaker who has written and directed three features. Her debut, SEÑORITA (2011), competed in the Concorso Cineasti del presente at the 2011 Locarno FF. Her follow-up, APPARITION (2012), competed in the New Currents section at the 2012 Busan IFF. Widely considered a modern Philippine classic APPARITION is regularly programmed in retrospectives of Filpino cinema alongside works by Lav Diaz and Brillante Mendoza. It will screen as part of Locarno 2020's Open Doors screenings.

    Her next film LINGUA FRANCA (2019), starring Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks: The Return), premiered at the Venice IFF. Cahiers Du Cinéma praised its melding of political impulses with true romanticism as being "rare in contemporary cinema". LINGUA FRANCA has been acquired in North America, France amongst other territories. Other festivals include BFI London, Vancouver, Stockholm, Hamburg, Goteborg, Thessaloniki, Goa, AFI Fest, Hawaii, Febiofest, Frameline, Outfest and Palm Springs.

    Isabel is currently developing her most ambitious feature, TROPICAL GOTHIC, a 16th-century surrealist drama about the haunting of a Spanish conquistador in the Philippine islands. The project is a 2020 Locarno Open Doors Hub selection. In September 2020, the Indiana Unviersity will present an early-career retrospective of Isabel's work as part of the Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker series, which previously invited Pedro Costa, Carlos Reygadas and Claire Denis.

    Selected Filmography