Fil-Am Animator Gini Cruz, receipient of Golden Globe award for Coco

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  • As part of those who created one of Pixar’s latest films, Coco, Filipino Pixar supervising animator Gini Cruz Santos is also co-recipient of the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Animation Motion Picture that went to “Coco.”

    “Coco” is the first Pixar film centered on a Mexican cultural festival. It bested other animated films in the Golden Globes, namely, “The Boss Baby,” “Ferdinand,” “Loving Vincent,” and “The Breadwinner.”

    In a previous interview with Philstar.com, Santos said it took them about six years to create “Coco” as they have to travel back and forth to Mexico for intensive research.

    “The Mexican culture, they kind of share our dynamic a little bit as family. For me, I was excited because I felt like all our research in the dynamic of our acting and just kind of a how the Mexican family relates to each other feels Filipino,” Santos told a group of journalists during the roundtable interview last year in Manila.

    A native of Pasay City and a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Santos is also among those behind Disney’s “Brave” and Dory in “Finding Nemo.”

    Pinoy pride at the Golden Globes

    Besides Santos, Filipino-American composer Robert Lopez and his wife, Kiristen Anderson-Lopez, were also nominated in the 2018 Golden Globes for their composition, “Remember Me,” “Coco’s” theme song. “Remember Me,” which Anderson-Lopez describes as a “message of goodbye,” was nominated for Best Original Song.

    In 2014, the couple won the Best Original Song award for their hit composition “Let it Go,” from the acclaimed 2013 animated film “Frozen.”

    Apart from Lopez and Santos, among the latest Filipinos to make it to the list of Golden Globe winners is animation writer Ronnie del Carmen, whose work in Pixar’s “Inside Out” bore fruit when the motion picture won the Best Animated Film Feature award in 2016.

    The Cavite-born Del Carmen co-directed “Inside Out,” and was one of its writers. He worked on the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s film “Apocalypse Now” before getting his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Santo Tomas.

    Another Golden Globes winner with a Filipino as driving force is the hit Disney film “Zootopia,” which was declared Best Animated Feature at the 2017 Golden Globes.

    Josie Trinidad, co-head of “Zootopia,” is a second generation Fil-Am. Her mom was born and raised in Canlubang, Laguna; her dad in San Juan, Manila. Josie’s maternal grandparents hail from Ilocos, San Juan and La Union.

    In an interview with The STAR’s Ricky Lo, Josie said it helps a lot that her Filipino ancestors taught her to value the family, because this has become her wellspring of (emotional) support.

    Twenty one year old Fil-Am singer-actress Hailee Steinfeld, meanwhile, was nominated for Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for the film “The Edge of Seventeen” at the 2017 Golden Globes.

    Steinfeld is one-eighth Filipina. Her maternal grandfather was half Filipino and half African-American. Steinfeld also stands out in the music scene, where her single, “Starving,” placed 12th at the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Another song, “Let Me Go,” reached number 21 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart in the US.

    The annual Golden Globes is yet another proof that Filipinos can stand head and shoulders above other filmmakers from around the word. Filipinos may not have the First World technology of their Hollywood, European and Japanese counterparts. But they more than make up for this lack of resources with their talent and knack for making do.

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