Despite the nature of the production, which was intended for the recently concluded Cinemalaya 2013—the flick ‘Ekstra’ (‘The Bit Player’ in English), starring the one-and-only Star-for-all-Seasons—Vilma Santos did not just make raves here, but as well at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. It opened on Wednesday, August 14 in cinemas nationwide, as part of Star Cinema’s 20th Anniversary offering and once again made Ms. Santos a ‘big star’ even until this day.
In a press conference held on Thursday, August 8, exactly a week ago, Santos’s co-stars who also played as her co-bit players in the said socio-realist drama-comedy film had great praises for her. All of them were equally overjoyed while working with the actress-turned-politician. Vilma Santos won the hearts of her co-actors while breathing into the character of Loida Malabanan, as part of the marginalized laborers in making soap operas.
Also, Santos admitted that doing the said movie gave her some jitters due to some feedback she received, but she was just ready to gamble, no matter what. She, at the point of her career, ‘Ekstra’ is something she takes pride in, not to mention the recognition she received at Cinemalaya as Best Actress for the Director’s Showcase category film entry. Jeffrey Jeturian directed the film for 12 shooting days.
Piolo Pascual, Marian Rivera, Cherie Gil, Pilar Pliapil, Tom Rodriguez, Eula Valdez, Cherry Pie Picache, Richard Yap, Terence Baylon were among the big names in the entertainment industry that made special appearances in the film. Those who played support for Santos were Marlon Rivera, Vincent de Jesus, Ruby Ruiz (Cinemalaya’s Best Supporting Actress), and Tart Carlo.
At Toronto International, ‘Ekstra’ is set to have its premiere on September 5 to 15 under the Contemporary World Cinema section. Other recognitions earned at Cinemalaya are: Special Jury Prize (Directors Showcase), Audience Choice, NETPAC Award, Best Screenplay, and a nomination for Best Film for Directors Showcase.