MANILA – A movie about Filipino-American immigrants scored a grand slam in three major film festivals over the weekend.
“Yellow Rose” won the Grand Jury Prize at the 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival last May 10; at the Bentonville Film Festival last May 11; and at the CAAMFest 37 last May 12.
The movie was written and directed by Filipino-American Diane Paragas, and produced by ABS-CBN’s Cinematografo.
“It’s amazing. Just being in the festival on opening night was enough, but then to win the Grand Jury Prize is just everything,” Paragas said in a statement.
“It was like Filipino Hollywood. Filipino royalty came out to support it and there was so much love in the room,” she said, recalling the opening night of “Yellow Rose.”
“We sold out a thousand-seat theater and we had an amazing yellow carpet. ABS-CBN management like Olivia De Jesus and Star Cinema’s Malou Santos came from the Philippines to support ['Yellow Rose'].”
“Yellow Rose” tells the story of a Filipina teen from Texas who fights to pursue her music dreams while facing the threat of deportation.
The movie stars Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, Tony winner and Grammy nominee Lea Salonga, country music star Dale Watson, Liam Booth, Gustavo Gomez (“The Walking Dead”), Libby Villari (“Boyhood”), and Princess Punzalan.
Noblezada, who plays the young woman who dreams of becoming a country music star, received the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance for “Yellow Rose” at the 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
At the Bentonville Film Festival that focuses on inclusion and diversity, it was Villari who accepted the Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature.
Meanwhile, “Yellow Rose” won the Grand Jury award at the CAMMFest 37 Awards, joining documentary winners “Our Time Machine” and “When We Walk.”
Overwhelmed by the awards received by “Yellow Rose,” Paragas said: “It didn’t feel like just my moment. It felt like a Filipino moment. Getting not one, not two, but three standing ovations was crazy! I’m so happy and I do hope it helps get this movie out in a big way in America and across the world. We made a baby. Happy Mother’s Day!”