Miu Miu Women’s Tales: Shangri-La by Isabel Sandoval
The appointment with the twenty-first short film in the series Miu Miu Women’s Tales is set for February 23, on the brand’s website and social channels.
The film series continues after the two new stories presented at the Venice Film Festival 2020 and the meetings with the most promising female stars on the world scene, including Vanessa Kirby, Coppa Volpi at the Festival with Pieces of woman, now on Netflix ed Emma Corrin (Lady Diana in the fourth season of The Crown).
The film “Shangri-La” – written, directed, edited and performed by the Filipino trans director Isabel Sandoval and shot in Los Angeles last December – is set in California during the Great Depression and stages a relationship that was forbidden at the time because it was multiracial. The protagonist is a Filipino woman who works as a farmhand and falls in love with a man of Caucasian origin. That’s why the title: at the time America represented the promised land but the expectations of redemption at the time clashed with a very different reality full of prejudices.
“I am intrigued by many women with secrets, especially if they are of color – explained the director during the premiere via Zoom in the presence of another director of the Miu Miu project, Ava Duvernay – and I like to tell them on stage to explore which deep emotions they hide under the guise. This time the challenge is about bringing to light the interiority of a girl who explores an alternative world, one in which she can feel free and be allowed to love whoever she wants, in the light of the sun. The one with her lover is like a rhapsody and to better outline it I was inspired by the new Miu Miu collection ”.
Being part of this “pink collective”, she says, was “a great opportunity because it encompasses the thought and work of visionary women. I learned that a wish comes true if you believe in yourself. I consider it a journey capable of making me bolder, more confident, a tribute to those who invested in me as an artist, which is why I dedicate Shangri-La to my mother, who is still in the Philippines ”.
The director revealed that she feels particularly stimulated in her own creative vein: “I work well – in her words – with parameters and limits, which allow me to convey my creativity towards an idea, as in the case of this short film. In fact, in this case I had the opportunity to explore a story that starts from the past, transits into the present and projects itself towards the future. At the same time I had the chance to revisit the perspective of a immigration story. The protagonist is part of that voiceless female universe, silenced by the system, and I somehow wanted to give back the possibility of expressing one’s wishes, at least to herself and her lover ”.
The director has often been the first trans woman of color behind the camera to compete in the most prestigious festivals in the world: “I live it in a pragmatic way – she says – because it denotes the real perspective of listening to different visions. And I say this from experience, because I have lived through many stumbles in my life, but I know I do not want to compromise. The dream? Continue to tell stories that matter to me and to the community ”.