Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s first film an indie

She's a Filipino-Israeli in the Cinemalaya entry, 'Transit.' She gets to speak Hebrew too

INSPIRED BY 'TRANSIT.' Jasmine feels she belongs to the indies. Image from her Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – For TV5 contract star Jasmine Curtis-Smith, it’s a big deal to take part in Cinemalaya 2013.

Her venture into independent cinema is also her first film. And this first film has an earnest and topical theme, related to the OFW (overseas Filipino workers) sector.

Jasmine is the lead actress in Hannah Espia’s competing entry, “Transit,” set in Tel Aviv, about a father and son facing the threat of deportation.

“Transit” is competing in the New Breed category of the 9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, which runs from July 27 to August 4 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and its partner cinemas.

The film is also Espia’s first full-length feature, although she is no newcomer in filmmaking, having  worked as editor, screenwriter, producer, and assistant director in various productions. “Transit” is produced by fellow filmmaker Paul Soriano.

Guerrilla filmmaking

When Cinemalaya announced the auditions for the film projects it was supporting, Jasmine seized the opportunity. She didn’t mind going through this process. And she got the part of a Filipino-Israeli that also required its performer to speak Hebrew.

The cast and crew stayed in Israel for 10 days but finished shooting in 8 days – a frenzied schedule one can qualify as guerrilla filmmaking.

Jasmine was thrilled by this experience. “There is this level of satisfaction I felt after doing the movie, but I want more,” said the younger sister of Anne Curtis.

“I enjoyed doing the movie and I guess I would also enjoy it if I were given the chance to do a mainstream movie. But I want to do another indie film, kasi I feel bagay ako dito (because I feel I belong here).”

Jasmine said she was inspired to do some more acting after “Transit,” and she hopes to get more assignments. 

She is all praises about her fellow actors, Ping Medina and Marc Justine Alvarez as the father and son, indie-cinema darling Mercedes Cabral, and critically acclaimed stage and screen actress Irma Adlawan.  

Malaki ang tulong nila sa akin [They were a big help to me] to make the acting look good,” she said. “I had to keep up with them. But they were all very supportive, especially Tita Irma who played my mother.”

Although Jasmine’s character is half-Filipino, she is unfamiliar about this heritage from her mother  because she was born and raised in Israel. This causes tension with her mother who wants her acquainted with her roots.

Jasmine said she had difficulty learning Hebrew for her part. “Honestly, it was very, very difficult to learn the language. But at the end of the day, I was able to deliver.” – Rappler.com


“Transit” will have its gala screening tonight (July 28), 9:00 p.m., at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater). Here is the film’s remaining screening schedule throughout Cinemalaya’s run. For more information, please call CCP Film Office at 832-1125 local 1704/05 and the CCP box office at 832-3704.


12:45 PM – CCP MKP Hall

6:30 PM – Trinoma Cinema 1


1:30 PM – Greenbelt 3 Cinema 5

9:00 PM – CCP MKP Hall


6:30 PM – Trinoma Cinema 2

9:00 PM – Greenbelt 3 Cinema 3


12:45 PM – CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute

6:30 PM – Greenbelt 3 Cinema 5

9:00 PM – CCP Little Theater


9:00 PM – Greenbelt 3 Cinema 3


10:00 AM – CCP Main Theater

6:30 PM – Trinoma Cinema 1

9:00 PM – Alabang Town Center


4:00 PM – Trinoma Cinema 1

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.