EXCLUSIVE: The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) unveiled today that the Diane Paragas film Yellow Rose starring Tony Award-winning actress and Broadway icon Lea Salonga and Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada will open the 35th edition of the festival. LAAPFF is set to run May 2-10 in Los Angeles during Asian Pacific Heritage Month.
This will mark the world premiere of Yellow Rose which is Paragas’s feature film debut. Combining drama, music and the timely issue, Yellow Rose tells the story of a headstrong Filipino girl from a small Texas town who fights to pursue her dreams as a country music star while facing the threat of deportation.
“I am so humbled that our film has been chosen for this honor,” said Paragas. “Yellow Rose has taken over 15 years to make and it couldn’t come at a more important time when anti-immigrant sentiment is at an all-time high. This is a story for everyone facing challenges in finding their voice, their dreams and, more importantly, their home.”
Joining Salonga and Noblezada in the film are country music star Dale Watson, Liam Booth, Gustavo Gomez (The Walking Dead), Libby Villari (Boyhood), and Princess Punzalan (Mula Sa Puso). The film features original songs written by Watson, Paragas, Noblezada and cast.
Paragas serves as producer alongside Cecilia Mejia, Orian Williams, Rey Cuerdo and Co-Producer Jeremiah Abraham. Yellow Rose is supported by New York-based Asian CineVision, Cinematografo Originals (ABS-CBN Global), and was awarded the Ravenal Foundation Feature Film Grant last year by the New York Women in Film & Television.
Yellow Rose will premiere on 7 pm May 2 at the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) in Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. The LAAPFF is presented by the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center Visual Communications. The full LAAPFF lineup will be announced on April 1. Check out the exclusive photos from the film above.