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Filipina American Filmmaker Opens the 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for First Time in Festival History

March 18, 2019

FILIPINA AMERICAN FILMMAKER OPENS THE 35TH LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL FOR FIRST TIME IN FESTIVAL HISTORY
OPENING NIGHT FILM IS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “YELLOW ROSE” WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY DIANE PARAGAS AND STARRING TONY AWARD NOMINEE EVA NOBLEZADA AND TONY AWARD WINNER LEA SALONGA
FESTIVAL CELEBRATES OVER 100 ASIAN AND ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN FILMS MAY 2-10, 2019

MARCH 18, 2019 – LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), presented annually by Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premiere Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced today the Opening Night selection for the upcoming 35th edition of the Festival. LAAPFF returns May 2-10, 2019 and will present films in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, and the L.A. Live Entertainment Center.

This year’s Festival kicks off with the World Premiere of YELLOW ROSE, written and directed by first time feature female filmmaker Diane Paragas. The film stars Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, Tony Award winning actress and Grammy nominee Lea Salonga, country music star Dale Watson, Liam Booth, Gustavo Gomez (“The Walking Dead”), Libby Villari (“Boyhood”), and Princess Punzalan (“Mula Sa Puso”), and features original songs written by Watson, Paragas, Noblezada and cast.

YELLOW ROSE tells the story of a headstrong Filipino girl, from a small Texas town, fighting to pursue her country music dreams while facing the threat of deportation.

“I am so humbled that our film has been chosen for this honor,” says 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.”

“The Festival is excited to showcase Diane Paragas as our first ever Filipina American Opening Night presentation”, says Francis Cullado, Executive Director of Visual Communications. “We feel that YELLOW ROSE’s themes stemming from our collective experiences of what defines American can create cultural cross-connections throughout our diverse communities.”

Paragas is also producing along with 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.

Members of the cast and crew will be in attendance for a Q&A following the World Premiere screening. YELLOW ROSE screens on Opening Night, Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7PM at the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles.

LAAPFF launches the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 100 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international artists. For over three decades, the Festival has presented close to 4,000 films by Asian Pacific American and Asian international talent. This year the Festival has over a dozen films from local filmmakers.

LAAPFF will announce its full line up on Monday, April 1, 2019. Visual Communications Member presale ticketing will be available from Monday, April 1st to Friday, April 5th; ticketing for the general public will be available starting Friday, April 5th at 5:00pm PST.

For program information and a complete listing of sponsors and partners, please visit festival.vcmedia.org.

ABOUT VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS

Visual Communications’ mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. Founded in 1970 with the understanding that media and the arts are powerful forms of storytelling, Visual Communications creates cross cultural connections between peoples and generations. The organization turns 50 in 2020. Learn more at vcmedia.org.

ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL

Presented by Visual Communications, the 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) will run MAY 2 – MAY 10, 2019 at select cinemas in the Los Angeles area. LAAPFF is the premiere showcase for the best and brightest of Asian Pacific American and international cinema. The largest festival of its kind in Southern California, LAAPFF is also a proud Academy Award®-qualifying film festival for the Short Film Awards. For program information, a complete listing of sponsors and partners, and to purchase tickets, please visit festival.vcmedia.org.

The Festival is proud to be partnering with our following screening venues across Los Angeles and Southern California:

  • 341 FSN: 341 E 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Aratani Theatre @ JACCC – Little Tokyo (DTLA): 244 S San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Aratani Hall at JANM (Japanese American National Museum): 100 N Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ National Center for the Preservation of Democracy: 111 N Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Downtown Independent – Downtown L.A. (DTLA): 251 S Main Street, (between 3rd and 2nd Streets), Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center: 1000 W Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90015

The 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is sponsored by:

PLATINUM LEVEL

COMCAST NBC Universal
HBO

GOLD LEVEL

Nielsen

SILVER LEVEL

Sony

BRONZE LEVEL

City National Bank
Directors Guild of America
Flash Cuts
Flipcause
IW Group
Motion Picture Editors Guild
Pechanga
SAGindie
SAG-AFTRA
Taiwan Academy
The Famous Group
Union Bank
Writers Guild of America West

STAR LEVEL

Go Little Tokyo/METRO
JINS Eyewear
LA Philharmonic

GOVERNMENT: National Endowment for the Arts; California Arts Council; Dept. of Cultural Affairs; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; City of Los Angeles; HCNC;

FOUNDATION: Aratani Foundation; Asian Pacific Community Fund; SAG-AFTRA Producers Industry Advancement & Cooperative Fund, KEIRO, Little Tokyo Service Center

MEDIA: Character Media; Angry Asian Man; This Filipino American Life; Potluck Podcast Collective; Pacific Rim Video Press; International Documentary Association; Giant Robot Media

IN KIND: AAAZA, Asahi; Boos Philly; Far Bar; First Street Catering; The Park’s Finest; Passion Planner; Chung Jung One; Meiji; The Freezin’ Point; AFC Soy Foods; Cafe Dulce; Found Coffee; Creme Caramel; KIND; Spitz; LT Vibes; Ninong’s Pastries & Cafe, Occulus, Primo Water, Simple DCP, YELP,

VENUE: Downtown Independent; Directors Guild of America; Japanese American Cultural & Community Center; Japanese American National Museum; Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center; 341 FSN, Pacific Design Center

HOTEL: Hotel Indigo

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