THE BIT PLAYER
Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian
Audience Choice Award, NETPAC Award, Director’s Showcase, 2013 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival
Official Selection, 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
On every TV soap set are the bit players – or “ekstras” – and amongst them is someone like Loida, a seasoned bit actor who dreams of one day landing the speaking role that will push her career to the next level. Played by the legendary Vilma Santos, Loida and her fellow bit players hang out on set, waiting to be cast as anonymous faces in a primetime soap opera starring some of the biggest names in television. (Look for cameos by the Pinoy Heartthrob, the Sexiest Woman in the Philippines, and the Over-the-Top Contrabida). And yet, the bit players show more gusto and dedication to their work than their more famous colleagues and, in this film anyway, turn out to be the true stars.
Director Jeffrey Jeturian (Bisperas, Be Careful with My Heart), no stranger to the soap opera school of production, satirizes the telenovela formula for comic effect, provoking the audience with a social realism that depicts the exhilarating, mundane, and at times, humiliating experience of being at the bottom of the showbiz hierarchy. It boldly pulls back the curtains on the ratings-driven television industry to reveal the real cost of cheap labor. At the heart of it is Vilma Santos as the earnest protagonist, solidifying her status as a master of her craft. –Malou Amparo
Starring: Vilma Santos , Marlon Rivera, Ruby Ruiz