Mariel wants to play the role of Isabella in Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure”. She has already prepared for an audition, but she is distracted by money problems. In the hope of receiving financial support from her brother, with whom she has had no contact for a long time, Mariel turns to his lover, Luciana, who is also an actress, albeit a more successful one. Luciana agrees to convince him, but only if Mariel goes ahead with the audition. However, luck is seldom on Mariel’s side. Time after time, she tries to win this role that persistently eludes her. And time after time, she encounters Luciana, a sort of more successful doppelganger, who leads Mariel to doubt her own ambitions: to act or not to act. Mariel’s dilemma intertwines her idea of success with her experience of friendship, motherhood and pursuing a career. Isabella is the latest in Piñeiro’s series of films about female roles in Shakespeare’s comedies; at the same time, it is a moral story that, following in the footsteps of Alain Resnais and Jacques Rivette, experiments with non-linear narrative. Piñeiro constructs a colourful mosaic of mathematical precision that traces Mariel's story both forwards and backwards in time.
by Matías Piñeiro
with María Villar, Agustina Muñoz, Pablo Sigal, Gabi Saidon
Argentina / France 2020 Spanish 80’ Colour


  • María Villar (Mariel)
  • Agustina Muñoz (Luciana)
  • Pablo Sigal (Miguel)
  • Gabi Saidon (Sol)


Written and Directed by Matías Piñeiro
Cinematography Fernando Lockett
Editing Sebastián Schjaer
Music Gabi Saidón, Santi Grandone
Sound Design Mercedes Tennina
Production Design Ana Cambre
Costumes Ana Cambre
Producer Melanie Schapiro
Executive Producer Melanie Schapiro
Co-Production Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains Tourcoing

Produced by

Trapecio Cine

Matías Piñeiro

The screenwriter and director was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1982. A year after completing his degree at the city’s Universidad del Cine, he made his debut feature film, El hombre robado. He has spent the last decade working on “The Shakespeareads”, a series of films focusing on Shakespeare’s female characters. He also teaches film at the Pratt Institute in New York, at Le Fresnoy in France and the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola in San Sebastián as well as being curator of the Punto de Vista Film Festival in Pamplona.

Filmography (selection)

2006 A propósito de Buenos Aires (Regarding Buenos Aires); Collective Film 2007 El hombre robado (The Stolen Man) 2009 Todos mienten (They All Lie) 2010 Rosalinda; Short Film 2012 Viola 2014 La princesa de Francia (The Princess of France) 2016 Hermia & Helena 2020 Isabella

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020