Isabel Dréan is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer who likes to explore human nature’s dualities of light and dark through psychologically intricate storytelling.
Raised by a single mother and now mother to two children herself, the theme of motherhood is an important and recurring one in her stories, with Let Go taking an uncompromising look at the devastating realities of losing a child. Isabel is passionate about exploring female perspectives through thought-provoking narratives that cover various contemporary themes such as female revenge, #metoo, and women overcoming the impossible.
Isabel’s expertise in handling darker themes has resulted in a prolific career as a writer and director of complex psychological horrors and thrillers. Her series Manigances, about a famous novelist who employs a dinner party to orchestrate his own death, became one of the most-viewed online series in Canada and was optioned by a major Hollywood studio.
In response to the inescapable pandemic gloom, Isabel has felt compelled to tell lighter-hearted, uplifting stories under romcom, holiday, and coming-of-age umbrellas. For the latter, she developed unique narratives from her own personal experience, including her screenplay for Love Letter to Laos, in which an adventurous woman settles in Laos to open the first bookshop after the communist era.
Originally from Montreal, but a global wanderer at heart, Isabel’s love of travel has taken her beyond Laos to all corners of the world, immersing her in wonderfully diverse cultures that continue to influence and inspire her storytelling.
Her personal voice and unique vision make her a talent to watch.
Michel Galand, famous novelist, invites five friends for dinner. He prepared everything: good wine, small presents for everyone, a good meal and... his suicide as dessert. But the events do not turn out as the writer had planned.
N E W S
Three Christmas romcoms in production with Breakthrough Entertainment. Written by Isabel Dréan.
Christmas Beneath the Stars (2021)
PRODUCED BY BREAKTHROUGH ENT. A photographer and anonymous blogger must write a secret review of Alaska’s ‘Christmas World’ but after seeing its run-down state she is inspired to help the owner’s ex-military son restore it to its former glory, before whoever is sabotaging their efforts succeeds.
Secret Santa (2021)
PRODUCED BY BREAKTHROUGH ENT. An Ad Exec is desperate for inspiration to create a heartfelt holiday ad for her biggest client, but when the widower owner of the charity she’s been helping at discovers her real motives, she risks losing him - the one person who finally taught her to love Christmas again.
Whistler Film Festival Reveals Screenwriters Lab and Producers Lab Shortlists Whistler, B.C. (April 27, 2022): The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) is pleased to announce the 2022 shortlists for two of its highly competitive Talent Programs, the WFF Screenwriters Lab and Producers Lab. 22 projects are shortlisted with a total of 22 Canadian filmmakers, 11 writers and 11 producers, including several alumni from previous WFF Talent
Programs participating in the prestigious programs. READ MORE
CANADIAN ARTISTS AT LA NAPOULE
La Napoule Art Foundation and Fondation David R. Graham are pleased to bring together Canadian artists of all genres to a new residency program in which artists will receive inspiration, support, and opportunities for career growth, while strengthening the intercultural connection between Canada and France.
LNAF will host Canadian artists including Ms. Isabel Dréan in a month-long residency to take place Fall 2022.
Christmas Beneath the Stars is based on the book by Melissa Hill with a screenplay by Montreal’s Isabel Dréan. The story revolves around a nature photographer assigned to capture the beauty of the Northern Lights. However, when she arrives at her Alaskan destination the resort is nothing like she pictured. Secret Santa was also written and created by Dréan. Paul Lepore, Marian Lepore, and Andrew Bishop are additional executive producers on the project. <More> 22-07-2021
Cine Qua Non Lab
From August 20th-September 3rd, 2021
I am honored to have been selected as one of the participants of the Cine Qua Non Lab Rewrite Edition 2021 with my project "Love Letter to Laos."
Cine Qua Non Lab is a nonprofit organization based in Morelia, Mexico, and New York City, founded in 2010 with the mission of supporting independent cinema by providing a space for filmmakers to envision and develop their work.
"This is a very touching and heartfelt story. The setting is incorporated into the story in such a wonderful way, and that makes the script such an interesting read. We also get to learn about another culture along the way, which is great." Feedback from Screencraft Feature Reader.
Logline: When a world adventurer settles in Laos to open the first bookshop after the communist era, she soon befriends a local teenage boy with a deep love of books. But when his family pushes her to become his guardian, she is faced with a dilemma that could change their lives forever. Based on a true story.
FEATURE | Coming-of-Age | Travel | Attached as Director.
#FemaleLead #TrueStory #SouthEastAsia Budget: 5M+ USD$ Location: Laos, Thailand, Los Angeles
CINE QUA NON LAB 2021
I KNOW EVERYTHING
Logline: When a rebellious high school drop-out leaves home to become a nanny, the 16-year-old struggles to reconcile her 'girls just wanna have fun' attitude with her new boss--an ultra-orthodox Jewish family. Based on a true story. Set in the 80s.
Logline: Escaping from her abusive husband, a woman desperate to find her estranged mother sets out on a wild and unpredictable cross country road trip.
#Metoo#Vengeance #FemaleLead Budget: <1M Location: Los Angeles/HW 395/Reno
THE WIFE OF FRANK B
Nicholl Fellowship - Quarterfinalist
Placed top 375 out of 7442 scripts.
Logline: When a grieving couple moves to a New England town for a fresh start, the past, the present and the future coil themselves around the young wife’s life like razor wire. A husbands’ uncontrolled temper, hidden secrets and lost loved ones. Set in the '50s.
Excerpts from Nicholl Fellowship Reader's comments:
"High demonstration of craft, structure, and storytelling. A simple yet powerful story. Wonderful use of flashbacks. Clear voice, beginning, middle, and end. Characters grow and develop. Well crafted characters and a very polished script. Roles that serious actors would jump at the chance to play. You hurt with Marlene, you ache when she aches. Brings light to the terrible battered women's syndrome, which would spark discussion. Very well written."
Excerpts from Nicholl Fellowship Reader's comments:
"This story has good structure. Structure in this story is very important because it allows the suspense to slowly build. The script also does a great job at introducing the characters and the world. All seems normal at first. The dialogue is solid, creating complex characters that hint at their darker side. This requires patience with the read, as the reveals are careful planned out, and perfectly executed. Once I got past the first half of the script, I felt rewarded for my patience. There’s a lot of stuff going on here, and you could miss out if you’re not paying attention.
The tone is pitch-perfect. The suspense and intrigue will have you turn the page with anticipation. The intensity has a constant build throughout. The moment when Marlene (…) was so emotionally satisfying and I pumped my fist."
Excerpts from Nicholl Fellowship Reader's comments:
"This was an interesting idea for a story. The premise of the plot was unique enough to make us curious to see what would happen. There was a lot of mystery and suspense from one plot point to the next as the story unfolded. The approach to the genre was very good. We were riveted and weren't sure what was going to happen. There were some nice moments of magic. The meaning of the message at the end was cathartic."
If happiness is family, how does one keep on living when losing a child? For Anna, life comes to a halt when she loses her daughter in an accident. She is torn between her living young son, Mathis and the memory her beloved daughter, Claire. Mathis, however, acts like everything is the same. No tears, no sadness. But why would he be sad when to him, his sister is still present and he keeps talking to her like she's still alive? In her struggle, Anna will have to make difficult decisions. Will she be able to let go of this extraordinary love that binds them? Can this love keep them together even through death? Or should she let go?
M2: NOTICE ROUGE
The 2e season picks up 10 months after the events that concluded season one. Jonathan must face his demons. Find the person responsible for the death of his friend and colleague Dan Portal. With the help of a new teammate, Alex, our hero must interrogate and protect three key witnesses ... A game of cat and mouse begins between police and suspects ... Seedy hotel ... surveillance cameras ... an assassin called 'the Hand' ... Who will crack first? Who will die? 72 hours to find the truth.
Digital Series | Thriller | 72 minutes
French with English Subtitles
Let Go: On reality, light and loss
The loss of a child is unbearable, and Dréan, along with honest acting by Ferri, manages to convey the depth of this loss without descending into melodrama. (...) Dréan’s work consists of both the real and unreal. Like any film, it is the imagined product of a director’s consciousness, but at the same time is rooted firmly in a material reality. Actors take up space and enact each scene using real words, real gestures. Lighting, though often staged, is similarly real in the sense that it can be seen and perceived. In the visions of Let Go, fantasy is established within an already artificial universe, and in this way, Dréan develops her own hierarchy of reality. Let Go serves as an interrogation of the viewer by asking more questions than it answers, and our reaction to the film’s ending–whether positive or negative–is not necessarily as important as the questions we ask along the way.
“Let Go” Bends The Genre In A Hauntingly Beautiful Way
We Are Indie Horror woke up with an e-mail looking to promote a short film. We have been getting more of these types of e-mails recently and honestly never know what to expect when we watch them. This particular one has our attention. Let Go comes to us from Canadian filmmaker Isabel Dréan.
Award-winning filmmaker, Isabel Dréan divulges into psychological, thriller, murder mystery, suspense, and horror genres. She is the founder of Kebweb.tv the first independent web series online platform in Quebec, Canada. She currently splits her time between Montreal and Los Angeles. Isabel Dréan has this to say about the making of Let Go.