The moment may seem ripe for director Isabel Coixet’s latest film. Following in the footsteps of Oscar best picture nominees Roma and The Favourite, Elisa & Marcela is a female-centered, same-sex period romance that represents Netflix’s latest black-and-white feature slated for theatrical release.
But in reality, Coixet says the 10-year journey to get the film made meant the project had to wait for the times to catch up. “Maybe now, 10 years later, it’s easy for us to say this is a fascinating story about two women in 1901 who decided to get married and one of them posed as a man,” says the 58-year-old helmer. “But 10 years ago, people really looked at you like you were a freak.”
The multifaceted, Barcelona-born filmmaker is known for intimate, largely female-focused stories set and shot all over the world. True to form, on her latest she brought in several untested but talented young women in lead roles, both behind and in front of the camera, including co-star Greta Fernandez, first-time DP Jennifer Cox and debut composer Sofia Oriana Infante.
Coixet spoke with THR about the importance of a theatrical release, her reluctance to work in TV and why she insisted on shooting her Berlinale entry in black and white.
Photo courtesy of Netflix.