Jasmine overjoyed by entry of 'Transit' to Oscars
MANILA – Jasmine Curtis-Smith said she still can't believe that her first film “Transit” will be the Philippines' entry to the 68th Academy Awards.
Speaking to “Mornings@ANC” on Thursday, Curtis-Smith said the good news has yet to sink in because things still seem surreal up to now.
“I was actually in school, I just went to the library, I was on my laptop doing a bit of social networking and then our film editor tweeted that Transit is the Philippines’ entry to the Oscars. I replied saying ‘Hahaha what a joke, muntikan na ako ma-heart attack.’ And then someone retweeted from an article from an actual newspaper here and it just made everything legit. I started panicking, I was crying. I called my manager. I had to leave the library so I can express my joy,” she said.
Recalling the time when she auditioned for the Cinemalaya entry, Curtis-Smith said she is just blessed to have been handpicked for the role.
“I left the audition room and I see direk Paul Soriano running after me and direk Hannah Espia wanting to get my details so they could follow up for script reading and all these other things they want me to try out to see if I was what they wanted. They said ‘You’re the only one we called back for your role.’ That just made me feel important,” she said.
Shot 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 and Curtis-Smith) after learning of the government's plan to deport children of foreign workers.
“It was a very fragile storyline to film in front of actual people who are undergoing that situation. We had to be careful of the lines that were being said. Sometimes, we would even ask them about how they felt about a certain topic that we were talking about in a scene. I would talk to teenagers also who were kind of struggling to understand what really is their identity – were they Filipino or are they an Israeli,” she said.
But Curtis-Smith said her personal experiences somehow helped her relate to her character.
“Although they have Filipino blood, they grew up in the Israeli culture and that’s all they knew because they have not been back to the Philippines,” she said. “I stayed in Australia for six years. I studied high school there but prior to that, I was here for grade school. Mixing all of that, years here and years there, it was also confusing because I had to switch the type of thinking I was on.”
The producer and director behind "Transit" said they are gearing up for a strategic campaign to boost the film's chances of earning an official nomination.
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 Theater in Los Angeles, California.