Cinema Guild Announces the North American Theatrical Release of ISABELLA, the Latest Addition to Argentine Filmmaker Matías Piñeiro’s ‘Shakespeareads’ Series

Winner of the Special Jury Mention at the Berlinale
and the Best Director Award at Mar del Plata

Cinema Guild is proud to present the North American theatrical release of Isabella, the audacious latest addition to Argentine filmmaker Matías Piñeiro’s thrilling series on Shakespeare’s female characters. Winner of the Special Jury Mention in the Encounters section at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, winner of both the Best Director and Best Performance awards at the 2020 Mar del Plata International Film Festival, and an official selection at the New York, Jeonju, and Vienna film festivals.

Following Hermia & Helena (2016), The Princess of France (2014), Viola (2012), and Rosalinda (2011), Isabella is to be the antepenultimate entry in the filmmakers decade-long “Shakespeareads” chronicle ahead of the short film Sycorax, which recently premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, and the forthcoming Ariel, both co-directed with Galician filmmaker Lois Patiño and based on The Tempest.

Developing the themes brought up in his previous films, Isabella playfully draws the series into a new stage of life alongside the maturation of the actresses who have starred in all previous installments of Piñeiro’s “Shakespeareads.” Mariel (María Villar) longs to play the role of Isabella in a local theater troupe’s production of the Bard’s Measure for Measure, but money problems prevent her from preparing for the audition. She thinks of asking her brother for financial help, but is worried about being too direct. Her solution is to ask her brother’s girlfriend, Luciana (Agustina Muñoz), also an actress and a more self-assured one, to convince her brother to give her the money. Luciana agrees on the condition that Mariel will not abandon her acting and continue to prepare for the part of Isabella.

This latest entry in Piñeiro’s series of films abstractly inspired by the women of Shakespeare’s comedies is his most structurally daring and visually stunning work to date, exploring the line between performance and daily ritual, and jumping around in time. Through their rich and layered performances, Muñoz and Villar demonstrate a profound intimacy formed over more than a decade of collaboration with their director. Isabella is a structurally complex film about the ongoing battle between doubt and ambition that never discounts the possibility of a new beginning, and which confirms Piñeiro as a compelling force on the international film stage.  

SABELLA. Argentina/France, 2020, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. Writer / Director: Matias Piñeiro; Producer: Melanie Schapiro; Executive producer: Melanie Shapiro; Production Company: Trapecio Cine; Co-production: Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains; Cinematographer: Fernando Lockett; Editor: Sebastián Schjaer; Sound: Mercedes Tennina; Production Design: Ana Cambre; Cast: María Villar (Mariel), Agustina Muñoz (Luciana), Pablo Sigal (Miguel), Gabi Saidón (Sol), Ana Cambre (Ana), Guillermo Solovey (Marcos), Tom Cambre Solovey (Tom), Alberto Suárez (Angelo), Dario Oliveira (Director). A Cinema Guild release.