According to its website, “the Bentonville Film Festival is a one of a kind event that champions inclusion in all forms of media.” This year, the festival took place online and offline with virtual screenings and limited “local on-the-ground events” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We couldn’t think of a better film to be included in the festival’s roster, much less bagging the top prize, than “Lingua Franca.” The film tells the story of a trans Filipina caregiver living in Brooklyn, New York who falls in love with a Russian-Jewish slaughterhouse worker in what its director, writer and lead actor Isabel Sandoval calls “Trump’s America.”
Its story hits close to home for Sandoval as a Fil-Am trans woman who told ABS-CBN last year that she wanted to portray immigrants and trans people as not just as victims “but as people with dignity and how they are resilient and strong and survive in the crisis that they have to deal with.”
The independent drama film had its world premiere last year at Venice Days, the independent film festival associated with the Venice Film Festival. Not only this, the film was also recognized as a breakthrough in cinema as the “the first film written and directed by a trans woman of color,” according to its producer Darlene Malimas.
If you want to view the critically acclaimed feature film, it will be available on Netflix on Aug. 26.