MANILA - (UPDATED) Filipino filmmakers Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz are two of the new members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which gives out the Oscars.
Mendoza, Diaz and 772 others from 57 countries bring The Academy's "Class of 2017" to a total of around 8,500 members.
In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News on Friday, Mendoza expressed his excitement to represent the country in the prestigious organization.
"I'm happy... Siyempre kahit paano, mayroon tayong representation. May representation din ang Pilipinas, hindi lang isa, kung hindi dalawa pa," said Mendoza, who only learned about the good news three days ago.
He said he is looking forward to being a member with fellow Filipino director Diaz, who directed the Golden Lion prize-winning epic "Ang Babaeng Humayo."
When asked on how he thinks they were chosen, Mendoza said: "I don't know. I have no idea. I just got an e-mail from them, got an e-mail inviting me. So I don't know kung paano ka mapipili."
Meanwhile, Mendoza is hoping that one day, Filipino movies will get recognition not only for their entertainment value, but also for the message they want to convey.
"Of course I am thankful, pero sana darating din 'yung panahon na hindi lang tayo 'yung magre-represent kung hindi ma-recognize din 'yung pelikula natin... Na magkaroon tayo ng prestige di lang dahil nae-entertain tayo kung hindi nakikita din 'yung message behind each film na ginagawa natin," he said.
Last year, Mendoza's movie "Ma' Rosa" was announced as the country's official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards.