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Regent University Alumni Win 1st Place for Comedy at College Television Awards

Regent alumni Raquel Sangalang and Justin Garcia. Photo courtesy of Raquel Sangalang.
Photo courtesy of Raquel Sangalang.

The cat – or tiger – is out of the bag and into the 37th College Television Awards.

On Wednesday, May 25th, Regent University School of Communication & the Arts (SCA) alumna Raquel Sangalang ’15 and College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) alumnus Justin Garcia ’14 accepted first place in the category of comedy for their film, Terrance.

The annual College Television Awards mirror the Emmys® selection process and were judged by active Television Academy members.

SCA alumni Beecher Reuning (’15) and Eric Camacho (’15) were nominated in the same category for their film, A Pointless Pencil, taking home third-place, against films from universities like UCLA, USC, Chapman and Boston.

“We thank God for these students and for their superior productions,” said Dr. Mitch Land, SCA dean. “We know they will excel in their careers and continue to serve as outstanding Christian leaders whose lives and works will change the world.”

Terrance follows the story of a shy, young woman (Gabrielle Davison ’13), who when prompted to find a date (Josue Casanova ’15) for her sister’s wedding, dons a full-on tiger mascot. The film has received nominations and awards from several film festivals, including “Best Short” at the Hampton Arts Film Festival in February, 2016.

And yet, Sangalang was very pleasantly surprised when she heard the results announced.

“It happened so quickly that I didn’t even have time to think about it,” said Sangalang, who recalled a feeling of awe when they announced the winner of their category. “Justin’s name was mentioned right off the bat, and my husband and Justin’s parents kept saying, ‘get up!’” she said. “I was too busy processing.”

Even award-winning actress, Jane Lynch, who presented the award to Sangalang and Garcia, jokingly urged the two to “take their time” as they approached the stage.

“It was very surreal,” recalled Garcia. “It happened immediately. There was no time to process anything. It was a rollercoaster.”

They had it all mapped out if they won: Sangalang would thank the Television Academy Foundation, and Garcia would thank the cast and crew of the production. The 19-minute, live-action film was shot in four 10-hour days, in 14 different locations.

“Our team worked really hard,” said Sangalang. “All the cast and crew knew exactly what to do. They were dedicated to the film as much as we were.”

And apart from its charming, comedic inspiration, the film is a tribute to Sangalang’s late-mother. It was her inheritance that made the film possible.

“And his [win] brought everything back,” said Sangalang. But, in true comedic form, Sangalang’s next feat doesn’t come in the form of a film competition, but in getting the coveted, classic trophy back home.

“They gave us these boxes to put them in, and they’re so huge,” she said with a laugh. “I’m just glad they accepted them here at the airport.”

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Communication & the Arts and the College of Arts & Sciences.