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Regent Grads Inspire Others With College Emmy Win

Michelle Wilson - 700 Club Producer

This past May, Regent University graduates and filmmakers, Justin Garcia and Raquel Sangalang became part of an exclusive group. Both took home an Emmy when their film, “Terrance,” won first place for a comedy at this year’s college television awards.

Justin recalls, “To win an award like the Emmy, that's a huge honor.  But that's not why you do it.  You can't aim for, you know, ‘I'm trying to get an award.’  It's really about trying to get somebody to laugh.”

Raquel says, “Winning an Emmy, I feel that I can inspire folks, filmmakers who would like to do the same. But it was great and it was so surreal.  It just happened so fast.  And to see everyone clapping for you and supporting you.”

Raquel produced the film as part of her thesis to earn her MFA in producing in 2015.

Raquel recalls, “I chose the power of comedy because to me laughter is so uplifting.  It brings you out of a, maybe an area where you were just to uh, to serious, intense or down.”

Justin earned his Bachelors in Animation in 2014. It was the film he wrote and directed that put a unique twist on romance.

Justin shares, “My thought was, ‘I don't want to just have two people in love.’ I come from a background in animation and I look for what I call a visual hook. So I said why don’t we work in that tiger suit somehow. ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if a girl was in a tiger suit on a date with a guy.’”

Both say they’re interest in making movies started at an early age. As their passion grew they knew the best place to learn more and gain experience, was Regent’s film school.

Raquel recalls, “They provide opportunities for you to meet folks of the industry, both Christian and secular.  And Regent University Film allows every opportunity for you to learn every aspect of what it takes in the film industry. Regent wants to give you the best tools that you need to succeed in the industry.”

Justin says, “I was privileged to have a lot of great professors because I took classes, not only in animation, but I got to experience some of the classes on the CTV side, and film side.  So it was great to have a wide variety of people who have done a lot of things.”

More importantly, they knew Regent was founded on solid, Christian principles.   

Justin shares, “The support from Regent's faith-based education was huge.  They want to encourage people to fulfill not only their dreams, but you know, their purposes that God has placed in their lives.”

It was that support and inspiration that helped them get their award winning film, “Terrance” from script to screenplay. They say that’s just the beginning.   

Justin recalls, “This is one of those things that now appears on your name forever and I think the biggest thing it does is open doors.”

Raquel shares, “I would say that anyone has any opportunity to put forth a film that can win an Emmy, but not to expect that. I would say ‘try the best you can and aim high.’”

Since receiving their degrees, Raquel started her own production company - RMS Entertainment. Justin worked for 1 year as an assistant editor for CBN’s animated series Superbook before going full time producing independent animation and films with his production company Budgess man. They say it’s because of Regent they are now empowered to forge a unique path in film and animation.

Raquel says, “I think if you can convey a strong message that the human spirit can find in themselves, if they could believe in themselves to accomplish what they can to help themselves and society, absolutely.  I would definitely want to create a film that would inspire people.”

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