Filipino writer and director Isabel Sandoval brought pride to the Philippines, as she was named as Best Actress in the recently concluded 18th International Cinephile Society Awards.


Sandoval was hailed for her portrayal as Olivia, an undocumented Filipina transwoman caregiver working for an elderly Russian in Brooklyn, and pursuing a marriage to obtain a green card, in the film “Lingua Franca.”






The film follows Olivia’s journey in the US staying as a caregiver who feared being caught and deported by ICE agents because of her travel status. 


Sandoval, who also directed the movie, bested other nominees such as Marta Nieto for the film “Madre”, Sidney Flanigan for her role on “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” and Frances McDormand in the movie “Nomadland.”


She almost captured the Best Director award placing behind the eventual winner Kelly Reichardt for the film “First Cow.” 


“Incredibly grateful for this recognition which I share with the producers, cast and crew as well as with my @arraynow family,” Sandoval said on her Instagram account. 






“Lingua Franca” also placed runner-up for Best Original Screenplay, after “Bacurau” of Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles.


The film was also voted fifth in the Best Picture category which was won by Gu Xiaogang’s movie “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.”


The ICS is an online group made up of approximately 120 accredited journalists, film scholars, historians and other industry professionals who cover film festivals and events on five continents, according to its website.