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Isabel Coixet Castillo (Barcelona, April 9, 1960) is a Spanish film director.
Isabel Coixet started making films when they gave her an 8mm camera for her first communion. After graduating in History, specializing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the University of Barcelona, he devoted himself to advertising and writing ads. He won many awards for his spots and finally founded his own production company in 2000, Miss Wasabi Films. In 1988, Coixet made his debut as a screenwriter and director with Too old to die young, a film that earned him a nomination for the Goya Awards, in the category of Best New Director.
He made his first film in English in 1996 that he titled Things I Never Told You (Things I never told you). An emotional drama with a cast of American actors led by Lili Taylor and Andrew McCarthy that earned him his second proposal to the Goya Awards in the Best Original Screenplay category. Coixet was then associated with a French production company and in 1998 he returned again to a script in Spanish to perform the historical adventure to those who love.
International success came in 2003 from the intimate drama My Life Without Me, a film based on a short story by Nancy Kincaid in which Canadian actress Sarah Polley played Ann, a Young mother who decides to hide her family who has terminal cancer. This Spanish-Canadian co-production was highly praised at the Berlin International Film Festival. Coixet continued working with Polley in a new film, The Secret Life of Words (2005), starring Sarah Polley, Tim Robbins and Javier Cámara. The film was awarded with four Goyas: Best Film, Best Director, Best Production and Best Screenplay.
In 2005, Coixet joined 18 other prominent international filmmakers including Gus Van Sant, Walter Salles and Joel and Ethan Coen for the innovative collective project Paris, je t’aime, in which each director explores a district of the city of Paris. Coixet has also made outstanding documentaries on important subjects such as Invisibles, which was selected for the “Panorama” section of the 2007 Berlin Film Festival, on Doctors Without Borders and the documentary Journey to the Heart of Torture that was filmed in Sarajevo during the War of the Balkans and won an award in the October 2003 edition of the Human Rights Film Festival.
In April 2006 she was distinguished with the Creu de San Jordi film, by the Generalitat of Catalonia.
In 2008 premieres Elegy, shot in Vancouver and produced by Lakeshore Entertainment, based on Philip Roth’s novel The dying animal, with a script by Nicholas Meyer and starring Penelope Cruz and Ben Kingsley, Elegy was presented at the 58th Berlin International Festival.
In 2009, the film “Map of the Sounds of Tokyo”, shot between Japan and Barcelona, starring Rinko Kikuchi, Sergi López and Min Tanaka, premiered in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. with a script by Isabel Coixet herself. The same year inaugurates From I to the Center D’Art Santa Mònica, an installation-homage to the work of John Berger. In 2009 he received the Gold Medal of the Fine Arts as well as being part of the jury of the 59th edition of the Berlin Film Festival.
In April 2009 at the Santa Mónica Arts Center in Barcelona and in April 2010, at La Casa Encendida in Madrid, Coixet presented a monographic exhibition dedicated to the British writer, art critic, poet and artist John Berger. the title “From I to J. A tribute from Isabel Coixet to John Berger”, with the collaboration of the architect Benedetta Tagliabue and the participation of the actresses Penélope Cruz, Monica Bellucci, Isabelle Huppert, Maria de Medeiros, Sarah Polley, Tilda Swinton or Leonor Watling.
Short of 2009 Women are a thing of men, about sexist violence and the media.
Also in 2010, he was in charge of the content of one of the three halls of the Spanish pavilion of the Universal Exhibition of Shanghai. It also inaugurates the Aral exhibition. The lost sea in which his documentary with the same title, shot in Uzbekistan during 2009, is shown.
In 2011, he premiered the documentary Listening to Judge Garzón, giving voice to the magistrate through an interview with writer Manuel Rivas, in the Berlinale Specials section of the Berlin Film Festival. The film won the Goya in the category of Best Documentary.
During 2012 he directed a documentary about the 10 years of the Prestige disaster and the volunteers who participated in the recovery of the Galician coasts, which is titled Marea Blanca.
That same year he writes, produces and directs his new project, Yesterday never ends. The film is presented in the Panorama section of the 63rd edition of the Berlin International Film Festival and opens the same year the Malaga Festival where the film wins four Silver Biznagas in the categories, Special Jury Prize, Best Actress , Best Photography and Best Editing, these last two awards won by Jordi Azategui.
At the end of 2012 she starts shooting another new project, finished in 2013 and titled Another Me, directed by Coixet, written by herself and Cathy MacPhail, and shot between Wales and Barcelona. This thriller counted with the participation of Sophie Turner, Rhys Ifans, Claire Forlani, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Geraldine Chaplin, among others.
During the summer of 2013 he shot Learning to Drive, an American production shot in Brooklyn, New York, and based on an article published in the New York Times and starring Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson, with whom Isabel Coixet I had worked at Elegy. The film was presented at the Toronto International Film Festival where it won the second public prize.
Nobody Wants the night was his next project, shot in Norway, Bulgaria and the Canary Islands. The film was starred by Juliette Binoche, Rinko Kikuchi and Gabriel Byrne. The film inaugurated, in competition, the 66th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival.
Isabel Coixet, always interested in filming documentaries to denounce what she is not happy with or to give voice to her protagonists, is filming a documentary narrated by Juliette Binoche at the end of 2014 in Chad, which is entitled Talking about Rose . Prisoner of Hissène Habré. The piece recounts the experience of a group of victims of torture in their struggle to bring the former dictator of Chad to justice, an effort led by the American human rights lawyer Reed Brody.
During the 2015 edition of the Malaga Festival, the award was given to an entire career and the retrospective documentary of his work was presented, commissioned by the Festival itself, Words, maps, secrets and other things, directed by Elena Trapé
Also in 2015 he received the recognized prize of the French Ministry of Culture of the Knight of Arts and Letters.
During 2015 and 2016, Isabel Coixet directs the project Spain in a Day, the Spanish version of the documentary crowdsourcing project produced by Mediapro that aims to portray the reality of a country reflected by hundreds of home videos recorded during the same day and that has had as direct precedents Britain in a Day and Italy in a Day. In the case of Spain in a Day, the videos were recorded on October 24, 2015 by thousands of volunteers.
In the summer of 2016 he directed the feature film The Bookshop, titled in Spain La biblioteca. The script adapted by Coixet was based on the novel of the same name by the English writer Penelope Fitzgerald and received the prize for the best literary adaptation at the Frankfurt Book Fair of 2017. The film was shot in Northern Ireland and in Barcelona, starring Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson. The bookshop inaugurated the 2017 SEMINCI, as a world premiere, garnering good reviews and was released commercially in Spain on November 10, with a very positive critical reception and great public success. The Bookshop will be released outside of Spain in a “Berlinale Special Gala” at the 68th International Festival of Berlin Cinema, which will take place in February 2018.
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