Baby steps for Transit's Oscars campaign
MANILA -- The producer and director behind "Transit," the Philippines' entry to the 68th Academy Awards, are gearing up for a strategic campaign to boost the film's chances of earning an official nomination.
Film director Paul Soriano, who produced the Hannah Espia-helmed project, spoke with ABS-CBN News on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after receiving the letter from the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) informing them of the selection of "Transit."
The film will be submitted as the country's entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 2014 Oscars, which will be held in March next year.
"It's a great surprise. I'm still kind of floating, but we're excited that the film academy chose us... Of course I'm enjoying it. This film was just made out of so much passion," Soriano said.
Showing the FAP's letter, Soriano continued, "We're excited to be considered [for] the Oscars. [It's] an honor because we're representing the country."
Set in Herzliya, Israel, "Transit" tells the story of Moises (Ping Medina) and Janet (Irma Adlawan), two overseas Filipinos who are forced to hide their respective children (Marc Justine Alvarez, Jasmine Curtis-Smith) upon learning of the government's plan to deport children of foreign workers.
The film, which competed in the New Breed category of the 9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival early this year, won several major awards including Best Film and top citations for direction, actress and supporting actress.
Referring to her film's submission to the Oscars, Espia said, "Not a lot of young directors get this opportunity, so I'm really, really grateful."
With over 70 countries submitting their respective entries last year, and with only five slots for the official nominees, Soriano said his team is looking ahead to a rigorous campaign for "Transit."
"Well, number one, we need to raise some funds... The plan right now is to put together a strategic Oscar campaign. I also want to talk to some people who have done this so I can get their advice on what to and what not to do so we don't waste time and money," he said.
The October 1 deadline for film submissions will be followed by the Academy's release of a list of eligible entries later that month.
This will be trimmed down to nine finalists in January, with the final five nominees announced in the same month.
The 86th Academy Awards ceremony will follow on March 2 at the Dolby Tehater in Los Angeles, California.