Filipino film workers toast ‘Parasite’

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    South Korea celebrated an historic win at Hollywood’s most prestigious awards show.
    The dark comedy “Parasite” brought home four trophies at the 92nd Academy Awards: best international film, best director for Bong Jonn-ho and best original screenplay for Bong and Han Jin Won, and the distinction of being the first non-English film to win as best movie.

    Workers in the Philippine movie industry joined the jubilation over the victory.

    “Told yah, we’d made history,” wrote Baby Ruth Villarama, one of three Filipino filmmakers invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last year.

    “Parasite – the first non-English film to win best picture at the Oscars. South Korea, you owe us a drink.

    “Asia, this is for us!!” she added.

    Her husband, Chuck Gutierrez, director and award-winning editor, echoed her sentiment. “The Academy got this right! Cheers to Asian films! Cheers to international cinema!” he wrote on Facebook.

    Film Development Council of the Philippines Chair Liza Diño interpreted the win as the start of the “Asian invasion” in the US movie capital. “The Asian Invasion in Hollywood has begun! Congratulations PARASITE for winning Best Picture, Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for Bong Joon-Ho,” she wrote.

    Ditto with filmmaker Alemberg Ang, who reacted with: “I think the whole world just heard the cheers of the entire Asian filmmaking world!”

    Award-winning cinematographer Mycko David posted a screen shot of the members of the cast of “Parasite” on the Oscar stage, put three crying emoji faces and the lines: “best Oscar year for me! That’s our winning faces to fight our Asian problems. Thank you, Parasite!”

    “Woooooooot!!!” exclaimed award-winning singer-actress Lea Salonga, who herself made history for being the first Asian woman to win a Tony Award for her role as Kim in “Miss Saigon.”

    “Parasite” has won a host of awards on its road to the Oscars. It was adjudged as Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In May, it was honored with Cannes Film Festival’s highest award, the Palme d’Or. It also went home with the Best Film Not in the English Language and Best Original Screenplay trophies from the 73rd British Academy Film Awards while its cast was hailed for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild.

    The Philippines is currently celebrating the centennial of its cinema.