Judy Ann Santos was tired and jet lagged when she and her entourage arrived for our interview with her.
But as soon as she sat down in a conference room with a sweeping view of west Los Angeles and beyond, the actress perked up, no doubt energized by her determination to campaign hard for her film, “Ploning,” the Philippines’ entry in the Academy’s Best Foreign Language Film race, to make it to the nine-film shortlist and then to the five-film nominees list.
We congratulated Dante Nico Garcia (looking just as sleepy), who just won Best Director for “Ploning” at the Asian Festival of First Films in Singapore, from where he flew to LA the night before so he can attend “Ploning’s” key screenings with Judy Ann.
When we asked Judy Ann to comment about Dante’s Singapore win, she welled up with pride: “Iyak ako nang iyak kasi proud na proud ako sa kanya. Some think that he’s not a serious director but he won this award. Up pa ang energy namin. I told him, ‘Hey, director na director ka na.’”