This Independent Film Puts the Spotlight on Filipino-American Immigration

It's set to open an international film festival in New York.

( Immigration is one of the biggest pet peeves—to put it (very) lightly—of U.S. president Donald Trump. Since he took office at the White House, we've been hearing news about a huge shift in America's immigration policies—from a ban on Muslim nationals to breaking up immigrant families. Filipino-American director Diane Paragas tackles this issue through her debut feature, Yellow Rose. The movie premiered at the 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in May, and is set to open the upcoming 42nd Asian American International Film Festival in New York on July 25.

Paragas, who wrote, directed, and produced this independent film, took home the Grand Jury Award for Outstanding North American Narrative Feature, while her actor—Eva Noblezada—was selected for a Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance during the Los Angeles festival. Noblezada, who also happens to be a Filipino-American, plays the role of Rose—an undocumented Filipino girl living in Texas. Her dream to become a great country music singer is shattered when the Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests her mother. Filipino artists Lea Salonga and Princess Punzalan are also part of the cast.


In a statement, Paragas shared that "Yellow Rose is a deeply personal film [she has] been pursuing for the better part of 15 years." She was only four years old when her family escaped the atrocities of Ferdinand Marcos' Martial Law in the Philippines and settled down in Lubbock, Texas. Like Rose, she was familiar with the feeling of alienation and turning to music for redemption. "It's no coincidence that the film finally got financed in this era when anti-immigrant tensions are at an all-time high. At the same time, there is a hunger for Asian-American stories like never before," her statement added.

For more information, visit Yellow Rose’s website.

Main image from Yellow Rose's Facebook page.

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