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Director Isabel Coixet Announces New Film Project

With Ten Feature Films Under Her Belt, Spanish-Born Director Has Unassumingly Become One of the World’s Leading Female Directors

Filmmaker Isabel Coixet

Isabel Coixet is unstoppable. The Spanish-born filmmaker has just wrapped up shooting her latest production Learning to Drive starting Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson. Up next this fall is Fox International’s release of her psychological thriller Another Me starring Sophie Turner and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and she is now getting ready to prepare her newest project Nobody Wants the Night to be shot early next year and starring Willem Dafoe, Juliette Binoche and Rinko Kikuchi. Coixet has also served as camera operator on several of her films, one of the few women directors to do so. With a prolific filmography, spanning to ten feature films, she has earned a distinct place in international cinema.

“Isabel is simply unclassifiable,” says Spanish director Álex de la Iglesia, quoted in The New York Times. A prolific and truly international writer-director and camera operator, that feels at home both on fiction and documentary films. She has premiered her films at the most important film festivals including Cannes’ Official Section, Berlin and Venice, and has worked with many of the most respected actors worldwide.

2013 has been an active year for Coixet. Last week she finished principal photography of Learning to Drive in New York City. Based on Katha Pollitt’s essay, the film tells the story of a self-absorbed book critic (played by Clarkson) who, after a recent breakup, signs up for driving lessons as part of an effort to move on with her life. Her instructor is a Sikh man living in Queens (played by Kingsley), and together they will help each other to move forward with their lives. This fall, Fox International will premiere Coixet’s Another Me. Based on Cathy MacPhail’s young adult novel of the same name, the film is a story about identity anxiety in a teenage girl, played by Game of Thrones’ star Turner in her film debut.

Her most recent project is Nobody Wants the Night, written by Miguel Barros, which will be shot in Norway early 2014. The film is the story of two women, from two different worlds, and their struggle to survive in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. Josephine (to be played by Binoche) is a proud yet naive woman in love with a man who prefers glory and ice to the comforts of an upper-class home. Allaka (to be played by Kikuchi), a young but wise Inuit woman, is in love with the same man with whom she’s expecting a child. Set against the backdrop of a relentless icy landscape, the film chronicles their long, tense wait for the same man they love in such distinct ways.

In 1996 Coixet she made her first English-language film, Things I Never Told You, a moving drama starring Lili Taylor and Andrew McCarthy. International success arrived with the 2003 intimate drama My Life Without Me, based on Nancy Kincaid’s short story, in which Sarah Polley plays Ann, a young mother who decides to hide to her family she has a terminal cancer. This Spanish-Canadian coproduction was a hit at the Berlin Film Festival.

Coixet worked again with Polley in her follow up film The Secret Life of Words, co-starring Tim Robbins and Javier Cámara. In 2005, she participated in the omnibus film Paris, Je T’aime along with other filmmakers including Gus Van Sant, Walter Salles and the Cohen brothers. In 2008 she directed Elegy based on Philip Roth’s novel “The Dying Animal” starring Penélope Cruz and Ben Kingsley, and one year later she premiered Map of the Sounds of Tokyo as Official Selection of the 62nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival. The film was shot in Japan and Barcelona and starred Rinko Kikuchi, Sergi López and Min Tanaka. Her latest released film was Yesterday Never Ends (2013), which addresses the human consequences of Spain’s economic crisis. She has won a total of six Goya Awards, Spain’s prestigious film prize, most recently for Best Documentary for Escuchando al juez Garzón (2011).