This is how an Oscar is won: Every year, members of the highly prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) vote for their favorite picks in various categories, and after a thorough auditing process, winners are announced in a live broadcast called the Oscars, which is watched by millions of people worldwide.
This highly secretive club has more than 7,000 members from around the globe (as of 2017 estimates), all of whom are film industry professionals. Because Pinoy talent is world-class, there are of course Filipino AMPAS members.
Get to know them below!
Note: It’s difficult to determine every single Filipino AMPAS member since the organization is very guarded when it comes to its members. These are the only ones we know so far.
P.J. is a director, cinematographer, and producer known for acclaimed documentaries like “Call Her Ganda” and “Before You Know It”. He said being invited to become an AMPAS member is “a huge honor and accomplishment."
Lisa is an Emmy award-winning producer and production manager known for “Call Her Ganda” and “Herman’s House”. The invitation meant a lot to her, calling it an opportunity to represent more diverse stories.
“[The invitation is] about increasing representation of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people—all of which I am—and the representation of other groups such as working class people, people with disabilities, non-Christian people, etc. in the media and storytelling industries.”
Josie Trinidad, Trevor Jimenez, and Bobby Pontillas
Josie, Trevor, and Bobby are animators known for high-profile animated films including “Ralph Breaks the Internet," “Big Hero 6," and “Zootopia”. Josie said it’s an honor to be part of AMPAS and a privilege to represent Filipinos along with her friends Trevor and Bobby.
Bobby said his life’s mission is to tell more Filipino stories on the silver screen. He hopes the inclusion of Filipinos in AMPAS “will be increased to help make that happen!”
Ramona is a Filipina documentary filmmaker known for award-winning works like “Motherland” and “Imelda”. Three of her films have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival including the aforementioned two and, most recently, “A Thousand Cuts”.
Baby Ruth Villarama
Having made resonant documentaries such as 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Picture winner “Sunday Beauty Queen," it’s no wonder the Academy invited Baby Ruth to be part of the organization.
She noted how difficult it is to get support for local cinematic documentaries, hoping the invitation marks the “beginning of a new paradigm for Filipino non-fiction."
An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Ditsi is most known for works like “Bunso: The Youngest” and “Life on the Tracks”. She studied documentary filmmaking at the National Film and Television School in the United Kingdom.
There is perhaps no other name from indie more recognizable than Brillante. The multi-awarded director has made lots of acclaimed films that tackle poverty, family, and crime. He was invited to the AMPAS in 2017 along with fellow filmmaker Lav Diaz.
Lav is known for films with jaw-dropping runtimes that discuss complicated subjects like injustice, identity, displacement, and evil. In 2016, his film starring Charo Santos and John Lloyd Cruz, “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” won the Golden Lion award at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film awards in the world.
A round of applause for these talented ladies and gentlemen! May they continue waving the Filipino flag
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