Spanish writer/director Isabel Coixet started making films when she received an 8 mm camera for her first communion. After studying 18th and 19th century history at the University of Barcelona, she made a living in advertising and copy writing. This led to making commercials, and eventually to founding her production company, Miss Wasabi Films. In 1983, her first screenplay, Morbus, was made into a movie by Spanish director Ignasi P. Ferré. In 1988, Coixet made her debut as a writer/director with Demasiado Viejo Para Morir Joven, earning her a Goya nomination for Best New Director. Her first English-language film came about in 1996, with Cosas Que Nunca Te Dije (Things I Never Told You). Starring an American cast led by Lili Taylor and Andrew McCarthy, the emotional drama earned Coixet her second Goya nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Joining up with a French production company, she returned to a Spanish-language script for her 1998 historical adventure A Los Que Aman (Those Who Love).
Her international breakthrough came in 2003 with the intimate drama My Life Without Me, based on a short story by Nanci Kincaid. Sarah Polley stars in the film as Ann, a young mother who chooses not to tell her family that she has terminal cancer. A Spanish/Canadian co-production with help from Pedro Almodóvar's El Deseo production company, My Life Without Me won acclaim at the Berlin International Film Festival.