The Secret Life of Words
Catalan film director and writer Isabel Coixet was launched to international stardom thanks to her outstanding direction and writing in the intimate drama My Life Without Me (2003), based on a short story by Nanci Kincaid. She took home a Goya Award, a Cinema Writers Circle Award, a Sant Jordi Award, an Atlantic Film Festival Award, a Butaca Award and a Berlin International Film Festival Award for her work in the movie. Prior to her worldwide fame, she made a name for herself as a multi award-winning filmmaker with Cosas Que Nunca Te Dije/Things I Never Told You (1996), which brought her a Sant Jordi Award, a Fotogramas de Plata Award, a Cinema Writers Circle Award, a Silver Alexander at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, and an Ondas Award. More recently, Coixet became the center of attention with The Secret Life of Words (2005), a notable drama starring Sarah Polley and Tim Robbins. The film won her an extensive appreciation, including two Goya Awards, two Sant Jordi Awards, a Venice Film Festival Award and two Cinema Writers Circle Awards, to name a few.
Coixet will direct Penélope Cruz, Ben Kingsley and Dennis Hopper in the forthcoming Elegy (2007).
Childhood and Family:
In Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Isabel Coixet was born on April 9, 1960. As a little girl, she loved watching films, and knew that someday she wanted to become a filmmaker. She tried to fulfill her dream by creating short movies as soon as she got an 8 mm camera at her seventh birthday.
Isabel attended the University of Barcelona, from which she received a bachelor degree in History, and later found herself working as a copywriter at an advertising agency. This led to the founding of her own production company called Miss Wasabi Films.
My Life Without Me
Starting out as a copy writer in an advertising agency, Isabel Coixet finally founded her own production company, Miss Wasabi Films, and began directing commercials for clients like Pepsi, AT&T, BMW, Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s and Ikea, among others. Her first screenplay, Morbus, was made into a film in 1983 by Spanish director Ignasi P. Ferré, and she made her debut as director-writer six years later with Demasiado viejo para morir joven, which earned her a 1990 Goya nomination for Best New Director.
Coixet received her big break in 1996 with her first English-language film, Cosas Que Nunca Te Dije (Things I Never Told You), starring Lili Taylor and Andrew McCarthy. For her bright efforts, she was handed an Ondas for Best Director, a Sant Jordi and a Fotogramas de Plata for Best Film, as well as a Cinema Writers Circle for Best Original Screenplay. She also won a Silver Alexander at the Thessaloniki Film Festival and received her next Goya nomination, this time for Best Screenplay - Original. She returned to a Spanish-language script in 1998 for her historical adventure A Los Que Aman (Those Who Love), based on a novel by foremost French writer Stendhal.
The writer-director experienced her next breakthrough moment with the release of My Life Without Me (2003). The Canadian/Spanish co-production which starred Sarah Polley as a young mother who decides not to tell her family that she has terminal cancer, won her such awards as a Cinema Writers Circle and a Goya for Best Screenplay – Adapted, a Sant Jordi for Best Film, an Atlantic Film Festival for Best Canadian Feature and a Butaca for Best Catalan Film. The warm drama also won praise at the 2003 Berlin International Film Festival. With the film’s success, Coixet was shot to international prominence.
Coixet continued to build good reputation two years later when she cast Tim Robbins and ‘My Life Without Me’ star Sarah Polley for the 2005 remarkable drama The Secret Life of Words, about a burn victim who forms a special relationship with his nurse des[ite his momentary blindness and serenity. The movie garnered her with eleven honors, including two Goya for Best Director and Best Screenplay – Original, two Sant Jordi for Best Film and an Audience Award, a Lina Mangiacapre from the Venice Film Festival, and two Cinema Writers Circle for Best Director and Best Screenplay – Original.
Next, Coixet directed and wrote segments of Paris, je t’aime (2006) and Invisibles, Los (2007). She is now working on the drama Elegy (2007), serving as director. The upcoming film will star Penélope Cruz, Ben Kingsley and Dennis Hopper.