MANILA—Three Filipino filmmakers were invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the prestigious organization that hands out the Oscars.
Among the 842 new invitees from 59 countries were Baby Ruth Villarama, PJ Raval, and Ditsi Carolino.
Villarama, who directed the award-winning documentary film "Sunday Beauty Queen," was surprised in getting the invite.
"I guess life can really take this young dreamer from Baliuag by surprise. To changing the narrative how the world sees us and how we see ourselves within, it is my honour to raise our three stars and sun; our white, yellow, blue and red to be with the world's finest in ushering the best documentary films from Asia and the world," Villarama wrote on Facebook.
"Thank you to The Academy for bringing in some Pinoy power to the Oscars party and salamat Ramona Diaz for being a champion. Let's rock this guys!" she added.
Raval, the filmmaker behind documentary film "Call Her Ganda" that delves into the murder of Jennifer Laude, also took to social media to thank the Academy.
"WHAT A DAY!!! Not only is CALL HER GANDA having its broadcast premiere on POV tonight at 10pm (check local listings!!!), but just got invited into the The Academy!!! And I'm in such great company too! Congrats to all!!! Best. Day. Ever!!! #WeAreTheAcademy," he wrote on Facebook.
Meanwhile, Carolino is best known for her documentary films Bunso (2005) and Lupang Hinarang or Hindered Lands (2009).
Renowned Filipino filmmakers Lav Diaz and Brillante Mendoza were also invited to join the Oscars body in 2017.
The Academy issues a round of invitations annually and will bring its total membership to 9,000. Other new invitees include "A Star Is Born's" Lady Gaga, "The Crown's" Claire Foy and "Spider-Man's" Tom Holland.