Equal Opportunity Makes a Satirical Splash

I previewed a few of the films for the World of Comedy Festival and Equal Opportunity took me by surprise. First and foremost, this comedic satire had me laughing. A LOT. After all this is the point, isn’t it? In a nutshell, during break time at their place of work, a racially diverse group of men and women find themselves exchanging scathing insults at a rapid rate. Many would say the writing is offensive but this film’s verbatim mirrors current racial and gender tensions. Whether you like it or not it represents a piece of modern day comedy.

Camille Mana, the producer (also plays the role of Grace Ching Chong) had this to say about the filming, “We did about 75 takes of the very long and wordy scene. Towards the end of the day, we were all improvising a lot more and it was kind of appalling the racist epithets everyone was coming up with and stringing together! It was hilarious, but at the same time – it got kind of awkward because there’s kind of that tension of, ‘Wait, is this for real? Or are we doing satire?’ It’s a fine line … It goes to show that what happens onscreen is a version of what is happening in reality to a major degree everyday.”

Having received some notoriety already, the Equal Opportunity team is also currently in pre-production on a pilot presentation thanks to an NBC grant. At the same time the film has received some offbeat feedback. Camille has fun explaining, “After the HBO/US Comedy Arts Festival screening, an older woman said to me, ‘Paint my nails, bitch!’ I think she liked it … Subsequently, an older gentleman said to me an hour later, ‘Konichiwaaaaa.’ Unfortunately, I don’t think he had seen the film. Case in point, we are constantly reminded of why we made it. Humph.”

This 23-year-old Asian/Filipino American is best known for her role as Lisa, the quirky underachiever, on season five of UPN’s long-running sitcom One on One. Camille also has two feature films out this fall. She portrays Missy Chin in the highly anticipated Miramax feature film Smart People and is currently on location in New Orleans doing a Lionsgate teen comedy College which she has this to say about it, “There’s a lot of crazy hijinx in the film including cameos by a stampede of pigs, K-Fed and a lot of naked, screaming teens! Fun stuff.”

For more info: www.myspace.com/camillemana

Rachael Lovewell