CINEMALAYA 2008: My Fake American Accent

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's that time of the year -- Cinemalaya 2008 has started and there are more than 70 films (full length and short films ) included this year. Make sure you check the screenings so you can catch all the good ones. Last year, I was fortunate enough to watch good films such as Endo. This year, my eyes are on three films: My Fake American Accent, Baby Angelo, and 100. I just saw My Fake American Accent today and it was a good treat.



I was so excited to see this film. I have been in the BPO industry for more 5 years now and I wanted to find out if the director would be able to accurately depict the lives of call center employees -- not just the agents but the supervisors, managers and other departments.

The story of My Fake American Accent revolves on the operations side of the business, with one team of 4 agents, 1 Quality Specialist led by one supervisor who is working on a promotion. The movies touches on the sleepless mornings and nights, the frustrations, the fun times, sad times -- even the times when agents get mugged. The director has given us some of the types of call center employees - the bed hopper, the agent with an attitude problem, the irresponsible agent, the hardworking agent and the clueless agent. Each one has a story to tell.

I kind of laughed at the scene where this writer confessed that she suspended her life as a writer and worked as an agent because writing doesn't really pay for your bills. I remember when I was still an agent, I was also a student and at the same time a part-time correspondent for a major daily and a college magazine. There were times when I tried to make that the 'better' part of my life when in reality, it only constitutes less than half of it.

Whoever wrote the script for this should be given credit for writing the winning lines in the movie. However, I cannot say that this is a well polished film -- there was too much background noise that some of the funny lines were not very easy to understand. Some folks at the audience failed to hear them. As for the shots, it is quite inevitable for independent filmmakers not to use tripods to make the film look 'more indie'. Unfortunately for the viewer, the shots were too shaky.

This is a film that all call center employees should watch. Actually, EVERYONE should watch this. I noticed some people were laughing as if they were being shown something that occurred in a place strange to them. I have to say, a lot of people still think working in a call center is just about answering phones and perfecting your english. They don't realize that there's a lot of hardwork involved.

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