'Transit' is PH entry to Oscars
MANILA (UPDATED) -- The acclaimed Cinemalaya film starring Jasmine Curtis-Smith as a teen forced into hiding from the Israeli government has been selected as the Philippines' official entry to the 86th Academy Awards, which takes place in March 2014.
Directed by Hannah Espia, "Transit" will be submitted to compete in the 2014 Oscars' Best Foreign Language Film category, the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) announced Wednesday.
The film, which figured in a "three-way fight"with Erik Matti's "On the Job" and Brillante Mendoza's "Thy Womb," was chosen by the selection committee headed by director Peque Gallaga.
Also part of the short-list deliberated upon by the seven-member special committee were Matti's "Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles," Richard Somes' "Supremo," Mark Meily's "El Presidente," Cesar Apolinario and Marnie Manicad's "Dance of the Steel Bars," Jeffrey Jeturian's "Ekstra," Veronica Velasco's "Tuhog," and Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil's "Boses."
The FAP, in its statement released Wednesday afternoon, noted "Transit" was a "last-minute entry," as it only started its commercial exhibition on September 11. The release date, the film organization added, is nonetheless still within the October 2012-September 2013 period specified in Oscar regulations.
"Transit" was earlier released in July as an entry in the New Breed category of the 9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, where it won major awards including Best Film and Best Direction for Espia.
It also garnered the awards for best actress (Irma Adlawan), supporting actress (Curtis-Smith), cinematography (Ber Cruz), editing (Benjamin Tolentino, Espia), and original music score (Mon Espia).
Additionally, the film scored a number of special recognition -- the Netpac Award, the Special Jury Citation for ensemble acting, and the Audience Choice Award.
Set in Herzliya, Israel, "Transit" tells the story of Moises (Ping Medina) and Janet (Adlawan), two overseas Filipinos who are forced to hide their respective children (Marc Justine Alvarez, Curtis-Smith) upon learning of the government's plan to deport children of foreign workers.
Produced by film director Paul Soriano, "Transit" is the fifth Cinemalaya original production selected as the Philippines' Oscars entry, after Auraeus Solito's "Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros" (2006), Adolfo Alix Jr.'s "Donsol" (2007), Marlon Rivera's "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank" (2011), and Jun Lana's "Bwakaw" (2012).
Read our review of "Transit" here.