Seven (7) Filipino filmmakers and artists were among those named as new members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the granting body behind the prestigious Oscar Awards, including PJ Raval, Baby Ruth Villarama, Josie Trinidad, Ditsi Carolino, Trevor Jimenez, Bobby Pontillas, and Lisa Valencia-Svensson.
“Having our filmmakers as part of the Academy makes my heart swell with pride. As our filmmakers get more recognized internationally, FDCP makes more efforts to showcase Philippine cinema to the international film scene. We are more than honored to raise our flag and have better Filipino representation in world cinema,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño.
PJ Raval (Photo from major-minor)
Guggenheim fellow Raval is best known for his documentaries “Call Her Ganda” and “Before You Know It,” British Council’s Social Impact winner Villarama’s most noteworthy works are “Sunday Beauty Queen” and “Jazz in Love,” while Gawad Urian winner Carolino directed films like “Hindered Land” and “Bunso: The Youngest.”
Ditsi Carolino (Photo from Flickr)
Other Filipinos who were welcomed by the Academy are Walt Disney Animation Studios story artist and animator Trinidad, one of the brains behind “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Zootopia”; Pixar story artist Jimenez, who worked in films like “Weekends” and “Key Lime Pie”; Oscar nominee Pontillas, one of the animators of “One Small Step” and “Moana”; and Emmy Award winner Valencia-Svensson, producer of “Call Her Ganda” and “Herman's House.”
On Facebook, Villarama expressed her gratitude to the Academy.
“I guess life can really take this young dreamer from Baliuag by surprise. To changing the narrative how the world sees us and how we see ourselves within, it is my honour to raise our three stars and sun; our white, yellow, blue and red to be with the world's finest in ushering the best documentary films from Asia and the world.”
“Thank you to The Academy for bringing in some Pinoy power to the Oscars party and salamat Ramona Diaz for being a champion.”
Meanwhile, PJ Raval posted on Instagram, “WHAT A DAY!!! Not only is @callherganda having its @pbs broadcast premiere on @povdocs tonight at 10pm (check local listings!!!), but just got invited into the @theacademy!!! And I'm in such great company too! Congrats to all!!! Best. Day. Ever!!!”
The prominent list released by the Academy features 842 new members from 89 countries, 50 percent of which are women and 29 percent are people of color who, according to the Oscars website, “demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of theatrical motion pictures.”
Some notable personalities who have been invited by the Academy to join its ranks include Lady Gaga, “Black Panther” star Sterling K. Brown, “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon Chu, actress Gemma Chan, and “Spider-Man” actor Tom Holland.
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