Lea Salonga, Eva Noblezada in film about Fil-Am immigrants

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2019 12:02 PM

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NEW YORK — Two generations of award-winning Filipinas – both of whom played Kim on "Miss Saigon" – star together in one movie. 

Fil-Am director Diane Paragas believes her Pinay-powered feature film has the makings of a great movie: "I'm just like the luckiest girl in the world… I hope this is going to be a landmark film. It really changes and we start to see other Filipino stories come out there."

"Yellow Rose" – the winner of ABS-CBN International’s Cinematografo originals — stars 2-time Tony nominee Eva Noblezada and Tony winner Lea Salonga.

"This film is very special to me because it's my feature film debut and it tells a very unique story about the Filipino-American experience," said Eva.

"Yellow Rose" follows the story of Rose Garcia – played by Noblezada – a 17-year-old Fil-Am born in Texas with undocumented immigrant parents.

Her dream of becoming a country music star was shattered when ICE agents took away her mom to face deportation.

Rose must decide if she should run away to chase her American dream, or stay behind and join her mother's deportation to the Philippines.

Although it was 15 years in the making, Salonga said the timing of this movie's release is providential. They are hoping "Yellow Rose" could make an impact on the US immigration debate.

Salonga said "Yellow Rose" humanizes the often vilified undocumented, even by US President Donald Trump himself.

"The one thing I think this film intends is for compassion and for empathy. That yes we can argue all the sides of the law and take a stand, but we also need to remember that there is a human element, a human component that tends to be forgotten," she said.

"I just simply wanted to show what the immigrant experience is like — particularly for the child of someone who didn't make that decision, and the difficult decision it is to bring your child to this country and then to have to leave that child behind," said Paragas.

"Yellow Rose," on its world premiere opens at the 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on May 2 (US time).

Read more on Balitang America.