Elisa y Marcela

Elisa & Marcela | Elisa und Marcela
When Marcela and Elisa meet on their first day in high school, it is love at first sight. A deep friendship begins which soon turns into a romantic relationship. Nothing can prevent the two girls’ feelings for each other, not even Marcela’s suspicious parents, who eventually send their daughter to boarding school. Years later, the two women meet again and decide to live together. Both are respected teachers, but their partnership has to be kept secret from the critical Catholic population. For this reason, Elisa decides to pose as a man and marry Marcela. Their wedding photo depicts two young women, one in a black dress with her hair up, the other with a short haircut and wearing a suit; both are looking hopefully into the future. But their love remains exposed to great dangers. Based on true events, Isabel Coixet’s film makes use of black-and-white images and letters for her unfussy but deeply empathetic rendition of the story of Elisa Sánchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas, who tied the knot in the church of San Jorge in A Coruña in Spain in 1901. A paean to passion, dignity and resistance.
by Isabel Coixet
with Natalia de Molina, Greta Fernández, Sara Casanovas, Tamar Novas, María Pujalte, Francesc Orella
Spain 2018 Spanish 113’ Colour


  • Natalia de Molina (Elisa)
  • Greta Fernández (Marcela)
  • Sara Casanovas (Ana)
  • Tamar Novas (Andrés)
  • María Pujalte (Marcela's mother)
  • Francesc Orella (Marcela's father)


Written and Directed by Isabel Coixet
Cinematography Jennifer Cox
Editing Bernat Aragonés
Music Sofia Oriana
Sound Design David Machado
Sound Daniel de Zayas
Production Design Silvia Steinbrecht
Costumes Mercè Paloma
Make-Up Montse Sanfeliu
Assistant Director Luca Vacchi
Casting Irene Roqué
Production Managers Esperanza García, Eduard Vallès
Producers Joaquín Padró, Mar Targarona, Zaza Ceballos, José Carmona

Film Factory

Produced by

Rodar y Rodar

Legal Zenit TV

La Nube Películas

Isabel Coixet

The director was born in Barcelona, Spain and studied history before initially working in advertising and communications, winning numerous awards for her commercials. In 2000, she founded her own production company, Miss Wasabi. She has a long-standing connection to the Berlinale: her first international success, Things I Never Told You, screened in the 1996 Panorama; My Life Without Me took part in the Competition in 2003; and six more of her films have featured in the programme over the years. She was also a member of the International Jury in 2009.

Filmography (selection)

1989 Demasiado viejo para morir joven (Too Old to Die Young) 1996 Cosas que nunca te dije (Things I Never Told You) 1998 A los que aman (To Those Who Love) 2003 Mi vida sin mi (My Life Without Me) 2005 La vida secreta de les paraules (The Secret Life of Words) 2008 Elegy 2009 Map of the Sounds of Tokio 2012 Marea Blanca; short film 2013 Ayer no termina nunca (Yesterday Never Ends) 2014 Mi otro yo (Another Me) · Aprendiendo a conducir (Learning to Drive) 2015 Nadie quiere la noche (Nobody Wants the Night) · Talking about Rose. Prisoner of Hissène Habré 2016 Spain in a Day; documentary 2017 The Bookshop 2018 Elisa y Marcela (Elisa und Marcela)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019