Two Filipino directors have been invited to join the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz are the only new members from the Philippines asked to join this American film organization.
They are among the 774 artists and executives selected from 57 countries who have "distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures."
Invitees include popular Hollywood stars known for their superhero movies such as Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Chris Hemsworth (Thor).
Channing Tatum, Kristen Stewart, Dwayne Johnson, Luke Evans, and Monica Bellucci are other A-list stars invited to the Academy Class of 2017.
Other directors invited include David Ayer (Suicide Squad, Fury), Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), and the Russo brothers (Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier).
The AMPAS holds the annual Academy Awards that hands out the coveted Oscars.
Those who accept the invitation from AMPAS will be officially welcomed into the Academy during a fall ceremony.
No Philippine film has ever been nominated to the short list for the Oscars' Best Foreign Language Film category.
Both Direk Brillante and Direk Lav have one film submitted as an entry.
In 2014, Direk Lav's Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan was submitted as the Philippine entry to the 87th Academy Awards. The four-hour film with the international title Norte, the End of History featured Sid Lucero, Angeli Bayani, Archie Alemania, Angelina Kanapi, Soliman Cruz, Mae Paner and Hazel Orencio.
In 2016, Ma'Rosa of Direk Brillante was chosen as the Philippine submission to the 89th Academy Awards. Jaclyn Jose played a matriarch who is detained by corrupt policemen in this drama film that also starred Julio Diaz, Felix Roco, Andi Eigenman, Jomari Angeles, Baron Geisler, and Mark Anthony Fernandez.
This role allowed Jaclyn to become the first Southeast Asian recipient of the Best Actress award at the 69th Cannes Film Fest.
Meanwhile, Direk Lav's Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan was screened at the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes in 2013.