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Filipino producers win Oscar awards

LOS ANGELES – Producers of an 18-minute short film won the most-coveted Oscar award, “Best in Live Action Short Film” during the much-heralded, star-studded 83rd Academic Awards Sunday night (Monday in Manila).

Winning the awards were producers of God of Love: Stefanie Walmsley, former co-host of the popular noontime show Eat Bulaga; filmmaker Stephen Dypiangco; and Gigi Dement of New York City.

God of Love, produced by three Filipino-American producers and directed by New York filmmaker Luke Matheny, is a story about a love triangle – the protagonist, a lounge singer, also amazingly good in dart, falls in love with a woman, his band drummer, who falls in love with his best friend.

The film’s producers, who were almost in tears when God of Love was declared Best in Live Action Short Film, besting four other nominated films – The Confession, The Crush, Na Wewe and Wish 143, were elated to know several Filipinos took their time to say via their Facebook account words of encouragement to continue what they had started.

Stephen, son of Filipino immigrants Oscar and Lucila, blurted out, “It felt amazing to hear ‘God of Love’ called. I was on the verge of tears, so proud of our team and thankful for all the love of my wife, parents, family and friends.”

The 30-year-old model Walmsley, who is at the same time an aspiring actress from Ohio, said several Filipinos were thankful to her for their being proud of being Filipinos.

New Yorker Gigi Dement, erstwhile co-host of the popular Filipino noontime show Eat Bulaga, expressed hope their success will inspire other Filipinos to engage in filmmaking as a creative expression.

Dement — the daughter of Deane Dement, a sailor in the American Navy, and Manolita Almario Buenaventura Borja, a former actress in the Philippines – wore during the awards night a gown designed by Oliver Tolentino.

Stephen did not make it to the awards night because he was suffering from flu after his trip from China. He watched the awards ceremony in a friend’s house in La Canada Flintridge.

God of Love also received recognition from the National Board of Review, the Telluride Film Festival, the Angelus Student Film Festival and the Student Academy Awards.

Walmsley was born and raised in Manila; Dement was born in Baguio City; and Dypiangco was born in the United States. (With a report from GMA News and Manila Times)

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About Danilo Tao-tuan Naraja

I am an expatriate based in Jubail, Saudi Arabia and work in the Admin and HR Division of an oil and gas company. I am an HR practitioner for more than a decade. I used to work for a Cebu-based local newspaper. I love to write human interest stories and started writing when I was still in high school.

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