Internationally-renowned film directors Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz have been welcomed to the Oscars’ Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Class of 2017.
The two Filipino independent filmmakers join the 774 new members of the Academy, in the branch of 64 new member directors.
The Academy credits Lav Diaz for his 8-hour historical fantasy drama film “A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery” which won for Diaz the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the 66th Berlinale, and his 4-hour drama mystery film “Norte, the End of History” which was exhibited in June at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
Brillante Mendoza was cited by the Academy for his drama film “Thy Womb” which stars award-winning Filipino actress Nora Aunor, and crime drama film “Kinatay” for which he won Best Director at 62nd Cannes- the first Filipino to receive the award.
Since 1953, the Philippines has been submitting an entry to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film but has yet to receive a nomination. Both Mendoza and Diaz have one film submitted as an entry, writes Conan Atlantis in an article posted on Mendoza’s website.
Diaz’s Norte was submitted to the 87 th Academy Awards in 2014. Mendoza’s “Ma’Rosa,” which won Best Actress for Jaclyn Jose at the Cannes and Best Director for Mendoza at the 54 th Gijon, was submitted to the 89 th Oscars in 2016.
Diaz and Mendoza join the Academy Class of 2017 which raises the membership to about 8,500 film industry personalities from 57 countries, across 17 branches. The Academy began in1927 with 293 filmmakers in 5 branches. Membership is by invitation, after sponsorship by two Academy members.
The Filipino directors’ membership to the Academy Class of 2017 was declared on the Oscars’ site with the lines, “The best stories never end. Today they become a part of ours.”