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Short film produced by Filipinos wins Oscar

By Antoinette Bueno

Balita Media News Service

The short film “God of Love”, produced by Filipinos Gigi Dement, Stefanie Walmsely and Stephen Dypiangco, picked up an Oscar Sunday night, beating out stiff competition to win what is arguably the highest honor you can achieve in cinema.

Written and directed by Luke Matheny, who also plays the main character in the film Raymond Goodfellow, “God of Love” tells the story of a lovestruck lounge-singing darts champion who attempts to win over a serious crush by stinging her with a passion-inducing dart. The comedic short film was shown to Filipino press last Thursday, February 24, at a press conference held at the Search to Involve Filipino Americans (SIPA) offices in Los Angeles, where all three producers were at hand to talk about the film and what it felt like just to be nominated for an Oscar.

Dement was already confident beforehand in their chances at Oscar gold, telling reporters, “I had an inclination early on that the film would be nominated.”

And her inclination turned out to be more than right, as the quirky film took the top honor.

“Black Swan” cinematographer Matthew Libatique lost to “Inception” cinematographer Wally Pfister, but he picked up an Independent Spirit Award the night before the Oscars. This marks Libatique’s second Independent Spirit Award, the first one awarded to him for his work on “Requiem for a Dream,” another collaboration with close friend and collaborator, director Darren Aronofsky.

Fourteen-year-old Best Supporting Actress nominee Hailee Steinfeld, whose mother is half Filipino, lost to veteran actress Melissa Leo, who won for her role as Mark Wahlberg’s mother in “The Fighter.”

Filipino designer Oliver Tolentino dressed both Dement and Libatique, while Walmsely went with fellow Filipino designer Martin Bautista. Dement wore a one-shoulder, fully beaded teal green and purple mermaid gown, while Libatique’s traditional suit was paired with a tie made out of abaca “so that he could take a little piece of the Philippines at the Oscars,” according to Tolentino. Walmsely’s gown was made out of chiffon with an asymmetrical neckline, fluid skirt and a slit. Filipinos might remember Walmsely from her former “Eat Bulaga” hosting days.

In other Oscar fashion news, singer/actress Mandy Moore, who performed “I See the Light” with Zachary Levi from their hit film “Tangled” during the ceremony, wore a sparkling nude tulle gown by Filipina designer Monique Lhullier.

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