MANILA, Philippines - A few years ago, before her father died, Stefanie Walmsley promised him that one day she'll make it to the Oscars.
"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 never 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,'" Walmsley revealed at a press conference held at the historic Filipinotown before the Oscar awards Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Today, Walmsley's promise was fulfilled.
Walmsley's film "God of Love," which she co-produced with Gigi Dement, another Filipino, won the Best Live Action Short Film award at this year's Academy Awards (Oscars). Another Filipino, Stephen Dypiangco, is producer of marketing and distribution of the film. Luke Matheny, who directed and starred in the "God of Love," accepted the award.
"It's my dream for her to come true," said Baby Walmsley, Stefanie's mother, during the press conference before the awards.
Dypiangco, Dement, and Walmsley are overwhelmed by their film's success.
Baguio-born Dement, who grew up in Iowa, got interested in filmmaking thanks to a Sylvester Stallone movie shot in her hometown.
"I was thinking one day it's gonna be me. I'm gonna bring back my movie here. It's definitely a Cinderella moment," said Dement.
Although their nominated film isn't Filipino-centric, all of them now have Filipino projects in the works.
Dement is working on a documentary about Filipino fashion icon Rafe Totengco, and Dypiangco is wrapping up a feature film titled "Home Unknown" which is about his Filipino heritage.
"'Home Unknown' is a personal documentary and it's about a trip I took back to the Philippines to explore my roots and identity. And I went with these two really uncooperative and difficult sidekicks, who are my parents," Dypiangco said.
Walmsley may have acted in front of the cameras before, but in the US, her interest shifted to work behind the camera.
In fact, when Star Cinema filmed "In My Life" in New York, she was its location manager. She said she is looking forward to collaborating more with Star Cinema in the future. -- Report from Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN News North America Bureau