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Special to the Filipino Reporter


A group of Filipino-American producers are gathering support for a film venture that will tackle immigration, family, Filipino values, LGBTQ rights, among other social issues.

To introduce the film to supporters, the Lingua Franca kickoff event was held at the Fridman Gallery in New York on Jan. 16, 2018.

Written and directed by Isabel Sandoval, Lingua Franca is a promising take on an undocumented Filipino transwoman’s immigrant experience in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tony and Grammy awardee Jhett Tolentino; Oscar winner Gigi Dement; Cecilia Mejia; and Richard Kim are producing the project, which will start filming in Spring 2018.

Wisconsin-based lawyer Jerry Kerkman is likewise on board the project as Executive Producer.

Sandoval, whose directing credits include Aparisyon (Cinemalaya entry) and Senorita, considers the project as a personal testimony of the immigrant story, told from the perspective of a migrant director.

Sandoval believes in the material that they have created and revealed that some of the artists they tapped have confirmed their involvement in the project based on the strength of the script alone.

Actors committed to star in the film are film and theater performers Lynn Cohen, Eamon Farren and Matt McGorren.

The production team is also in negotiations with Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon and Ivory Aquino for possible casting.

Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega graced the event and assured the filmmakers of the Consulate General’s support in promoting the film.

Investors and co-producers are being invited to partner in the venture.

A kickstarter campaign for the film was launched at the end of January.


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Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega (center) shows her support to the creators of Lingua Franca during the film kickoff. From left, Cecilia Mejia, Gigi Dement, Isabel Sandoval, Jhett Tolentino, Richard Kim and Vice Consul Khrystina Corpuz Popov.  (Photo by PCGNY)