Oscars: Philippines Nominates ‘Transit’ for Foreign Language Category

Directed by Hannah Espia, the film tells an immigrant story set in Israel and won best film and best director honors at Manila's Cinemalaya festival in July.

The Philippines has entered Hannah Espia’s Transit in the race for the best foreign language film Oscar at the 2014 Academy Awards.

The selection was made by a committee headed by filmmaker Peque Gallaga, with other members including actors Robert Arevalo and Gina Alajar, editor Jess Navarro, and directors Elwood Perez, Jose Carreon and Willie Mayo.

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The film is set in Israel and stars Jasmine Curtis-Smith as a teen who is forced to hide from the Israeli government after it rules to deport the children of foreign workers residing in the country.

Transit premiered in July at the 9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, where it won Best Film and Best Director awards in the New Breed section.

It will be screened next in the New Currents section at the Busan International Film Festival, running Oct. 3 to 12.

No Philippine film has ever been nominated to the short list for the Oscars’ Best Foreign Language category.