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Occidental College Academy Award Winner Has a Message from President Obama

Rafael Cortina is the first-ever Student Academy Award winner from Occidental College. Sharply dressed and well-prepared, he gave a charming acceptance speech Saturday night, noting off the top that MC Bob Saget can always be counted on to attract a “full house.”

With a straight face, he then proceeded to pass on some bigger picture news. “Earlier today, I got a phone call from President Obama congratulating me on my award,” he revealed. “And he wanted me to tell the [school] administration that although he went there for two years, please-please-please stop referring to him as an alum. So I wanted to pass that along.”

Cortina was joking. But the writer-director of Bottled Up, a short drama filmed overnight in the alleyways of Old Town Pasadena, has set the acceptance speech bar high for future Occidental College winners.

Cortina also mentioned in his remarks that his mom could not be in Beverly Hills last night because just a few hours earlier, on the other coast, she had walked off a different stage with her Bachelor’s degree. Congrats to both!

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