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Stephen Dypiangco shows the Oscar he and his co-producers Gigi Dement and Stefanie Walmsley won on Sunday for Best Live Action Short Film at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles for “God of Love.”

 

Special to the Filipino Reporter

Three budding Filipino-American film producers made Oscar history on Sunday evening when their short film “God of Love” bagged the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Stephen Dypiangco, Gigi Dement and Stefanie Walmsley produced the 18-minute short film by New York writer-director-actor Luke Matheny about an expert dart-thrower looking for love.

The three Fil-Ams were almost in tears when Matheny, a New York University (NYU) filmmaker, accepted the award, beating “The Confession,” “The Crush,” “Na Wewe” and “Wish 143.”

Walmsley and Dement are credited as producers of the film, along with Ryan Silbert.

Dypiangco is the producer of marketing and distribution of the short film.

 

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GIGI DEMENT

 

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STEFANIE WALMSLEY

 

Before the awards night, Walmsley told ABS-CBN North America News Bureau:

“It’s completely surreal as can be imagined. I literally feel that I might just wake up and none of this is real.”

She added: “Can you imagine having to promise somebody that you’re gonna one day make it to the Oscars? Of course you feel like if it’s ever gonna happen, but my father was sure. The day before he passed, he was even showing the nurse my picture and saying ‘don’t forget her face, she’ll be in the Oscars one day.’”

Born and raised in Manila, Walmsley used to be a child star in the Philippines.

At 18 she was cast opposite Bob Hoskins in Showtime’s “Noriega: God’s Favorite,” and was later cast as the adopted daughter of Chad Lowe and Kristin Davis in “The John Denver Story.”

After high school, she moved to New York to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Walmsley served as location manager for the 2009 Star Cinema blockbuster film “In My Life,” featuring Filipino superstars Vilma Santos, John Lloyd Cruz and Luis Manzano.

Most recently, she has worked as a production coordinator for HBO.

She currently lives in Manhattan and is in post-production for “Me the Terrible,” a short film directed by Josephine Decker.

She hopes to one day return to the Philippines to start a production company focused on cultivating local independent cinema and helping it thrive.

Dypiangco, born and raised in a Los Angeles suburb, is a socially conscious independent filmmaker who writes, directs and produces narrative films, documentaries and music videos.

His personal documentary, “Home Unknown,” follows his journey to the Philippines with his parents to rediscover his heritage and Filipino-American identity.

Having worked for and trained under Jon Reiss, author of the book “Think Outside the Box Office,” Dypiangco, a graduate of NYU Film School, is now working as a producer of marketing and distribution.

Currently, he’s preparing the feature documentary “How To Live Forever” for its theatrical release in the spring of 2011.

Dement, born in Baguio City and now a New Yorker, grew up in Dubuque, Iowa.

After graduating with distinction from NYU’s Undergraduate Film/TV Program, she worked as an event producer and trade show manager, where she was instrumental in the development of the restaurant industry’s first technology exhibition, and secured innovative corporate sponsorships with companies such as Microsoft and IBM.

In 1998, Dement returned to NYU for its graduate film program.

In just a few short years, she produced 15 films and directed four of her own.

She currently lives in Brooklyn where she raises two daughters and is producing and directing her first long form documentary about Rafe Totengco, a Filipino designer of shoes and handbags sold worldwide.

She recently produced “Losing It,” a dramatic feature film directed by acclaimed Irish Director Mcdara Vallely, in association with Samson Films.

She is developing several projects, including a dramatic feature film about a brilliant but troubled teenager written by her husband, who is a fellow NYU film alum.

Other Fil-Ams were also nominated in the 83rd Annual Academy Awards but didn’t win.

Cinematographer Matthew Libatique was nominated for his work in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller “Black Swan.”

Although he lost the Oscar to Wally Pfister of “Inception,” Libatique won the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Award,” the Los Angeles Film Critics Award, and the New York Film Critics Award.

Libatique, who wore an Oliver Tolentino wool tux with abaca tie at the Academy Awards Night, has previously worked with Aronofsky on “Pi,” “The Fountain” and “Requiem for a Dream.”

He has also worked on Joel Schumacher’s “Phone Booth” and the two “Iron Man” movies.

Libatique, who claimed that he used to deliver lechon as his first job while a teenager in Elmhurst, Queens, was a classmate of Aronofsky at the American Film Institute.

 

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Film poster of “God of Love,” winner of the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.