Filmmaker Biography

Stephen Dypiangco Home Unknown, documentary Filipino-American, Manila

Stephen Dypiangco shooting the sunset over Manila Bay.


The youngest son of Filipino immigrants, Stephen grew up in the multicultural suburbs east of Los Angeles, studying hard, watching plenty of TV and building a sizable pro athlete autograph collection. Not quite cool enough to attend high school parties, he began watching classic films like The Godfather, The Graduate and Harold and Maude. However, it was the indie comedy Swingers that made Stephen realize he wanted to direct movies.

As a Georgetown University undergraduate student, Stephen commenced his filmmaking career by teaming with friends to make sophomoric short videos about subjects like a killer mini robot and a German sex ed class. After graduation, he retuned to LA and worked at the bottom of the Hollywood food chain as a talent manager’s assistant. Though thrilled to be in show business, Stephen longed to understand the creative side of filmmaking.

Eager to gain meaningful life experience, Stephen joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps As a volunteer, he lived in Camden, NJ, the country’s most violent city, and he worked with migrant farmworkers in neighboring PA. Living and working amid unjust urban and rural conditions inspired him to become an activist. While editing the documentary Los Trabajadores for his nonprofit placement, Stephen began viewing filmmaking as a way to positively impact the world.

After directing several narrative and doc shorts, Stephen gained admission to NYU’s graduate film program. By tirelessly working on his peers’ sets and his own projects, the budding filmmaker honed his skills, earned scholarship funds and was selected as a Graduate Assistant. Outside of NYU, Stephen branched out into the NY film community by interning with Kulture Machine and Arts Engine, reviewing screenplays for the Tribeca All Access program and crewing on numerous shoots.

Stephen’s short documentary Made In The Bronx was a Regional Finalist for the Student Academy Awards and won the Best Documentary prize at the Starz First Look Student Film Festival. His narrative short CLEAN screened at the Asian-American International Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and the Hawaii International Film Festival. Stephen’s narrative thesis All Americana was fully funded by the nonprofit Center for Community Change and premiered at the San Diego Latino Film Festival.

Since relocating to LA, Stephen has worked on indie features and directed music videos. Currently, he’s editing the feature documentary Home Unknown, which follows his journey to the Philippines to understand his heritage, Filipino-American identity and parents. Stephen is also writing a feature script about an eccentric group of mall walkers. In his spare time, Stephen teaches English to Spanish-speakers at a homeless shelter and provides support to Jesuit Volunteers in East LA. Stephen and his wife Ann are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child.

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Stephen Dypiangco, Home Unknown, Filipino American, documentary

Stephen as a child in Montebello, CA.

Stephen Dypiangco, Home Unknown, filmmaker, director, Filipino American

Stephen on the set of his NYU grad thesis film All Americana.

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