EL SEGUNDO HERALD September 17, 2020 Page 5
Lingua Franca Makes History
As the First Film Directed By and
Starring A Trans Woman of Color
Ashley DeFrancesco for cinemacy.com
2020 has been a year of firsts: a global
pandemic, masks as a necessity, education
and jobs moving online. But the monumental
achievement is the landmark film, Lingua
Franca, making history as the first film directed
by and starring an openly trans woman of
color, the brilliant Isabel Sandoval. Sandoval’s
voice as the screenwriter, lead actor, editor,
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and co-producer is a gift. She shares her experience
and struggles with the audience, and
her character has depth and intimacy never
before seen due to the lack of representation
historically for transgender voices.
The film is set in our current political
world with 45’s fear-mongering hostility
against immigration and gender identity
impending and looming. Olivia (Isabel Sandoval)
is an undocumented transgender
Filipina woman working as a caretaker to
an elderly Russian-American, Olga (Lynn
Cohen), in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach. The
only way she can rid the constant fear of
ICE raids and anti-immigration news is marriage
and leaving love out of the equation.
The constant panic and fear tap into the
migrant experience, trying to make a life
in a country whose citizens are spoon-fed
rhetoric that immigrants are the enemy.
When Olga’s grandson Alex (Eamon Farren)
comes back home after his time in rehab,
he lives with Olga and becomes fascinated
“Lingua Franca” means a language that
is adopted as a common language between
speakers whose native languages are different.
Nothing could better describe the relationship
between Olivia and Alex. In the beginning,
their interactions are focused on Alex learning
Olga’s routine and how to care for her, and
grows into a genuine interest in Olivia and her
culture. As they become more intimate, they
find their language but the secrets between
them only continue to grow.
Lingua Franca gives its audience a mirror
with which to evaluate their role in transphobia
and anti-immigration reform. Isabel Sandoval
shows us the heartbreak and living terror immigrant
trans women experience in America
daily. She has made a film with cultural currency
and a story that needs to be seen by all.
Distributed by ARRAY Releasing, Lingua
Franca is now streaming on Netflix. •
Lingua Franca, courtesy ARRAY Releasing.
Be Prepared: Build Your
(BPT) - Many of life’s interruptions can’t
be predicted. Not having funds set aside for
unexpected problems can leave you racking
up high credit card debt or putting yourself
in other difficult financial straits.
“When it comes to savings best practices,
it is especially clear after the pandemic how
valuable an emergency savings fund can
become at a moment’s notice,” said Jaspreet
Chawla, Senior Vice President of Savings
Products at Navy Federal Credit Union. “Here
are some tips that might help you kick start
your emergency savings.”
Here’s how to create an emergency fund
to protect your finances.
1. Do the math; set a goal.
If your first instinct is to save an enormous
sum that will cover all expenses for many
months, think again. While financial experts
recommend having between three and six
months of living expenses in an emergency
fund, this number might not be realistic if
you’re just beginning to save. It’s often a
good idea to start with a smaller goal - $500
or $1,000. Then, as you get into the habit
of saving, you can slowly start to raise your
future goals until you reach the three-to sixmonth
2. Decide where to put the funds.
The money in your emergency fund should
be kept separate from accounts you use for
paying bills or making purchases and be
easily accessible when an emergency arises.
Using just one account may make it far too
easy to “borrow” from your emergency fund
for non-essential items. Instead, place your
emergency funds into an interest-bearing account
that’s specifically designated for this
purpose. Good options include a savings
account or money market account. Either
can be easily accessed without penalties and
allow your money to grow.
3. Get creative and save.
Building an emergency fund means you’ll
need to trim spending elsewhere. Quick fixes
like evaluating your cell phone plan, cutting
the cord on cable or bringing your lunch to
work can help free up money for savings. Or
think bigger, like refinancing your home or
car. Use a refinance calculator to see whether
a new loan will save you money.
4. Save unexpected windfalls.
You can boost the balance of your emergency
fund when you least expect it with “found”
money. Invest birthday or holiday cash gifts,
work bonuses and tax refunds directly into
your account and see how quickly you can
reach your emergency fund goal. Since this
money isn’t part of your typical spending, it’s
easy to use it for saving without missing it.
5. Make saving automatic.
We all know that saving money for the
unexpected is a good idea, but it’s easy to
delay in favor of more pressing concerns.
Treat your emergency fund like any other
monthly recurring bill and have funds directly
deposited into your savings account
each month. You’ll be less likely to miss the
money and can sleep easy knowing you have
a safety net when life interruptions occur.
“We always try to emphasize the importance
of savings and financial security, and
we want to be a resource for our members
when it comes to prepping for financial emergencies,”
Chawla continued. “An emergency
fund isn’t a luxury; it’s an important way to
protect the things that matter most to you. I
encourage you to talk to a financial institution
you can trust, and get started saving as
soon as you can.” •