Yellow Rose is now available and trust us, you have to see it. It is a story that will stir your heart. We had the opportunity to speak with Diane Paragas, the producer, writer and director of this wonderful and moving film. And just you have to read what she told us, you won’t regret it.
Here we go!
Before we leave you with our exclusive interview with Diane, here’s the synopsis of the film.
A Filipina teen from a small Texas town fights to pursue her dreams as a country music performer while having to decide between staying with her family or leaving the only home she has ever known.
The film, directed by Diane Paragas, stars Grammy®-winner and two-time Tony Award® nominee Eva Noblezada (Broadway’s Hadestown and Miss Saigon) in her feature film debut, award-winning country music artist Dale Watson, Princess Punzalan (Mula sa puso) and Tony Award®-winner and Grammy®-nominee Lea Salonga (Mulan, Aladdin).
And now, our exclusive interview with Diane.
Diane is the producer, writer, and director of Yellow Rose, so she had a lot on her plate while shooting this movie and we wanted to know what her experience was like and what part of her work she liked the most. This is what she told us and we love it because she shows her passion and that she is truly dedicating her life to a job that she loves.
“I think I probably like directing the most, but you know, the others parts are necessity things but…I think for me the hardest thing is writing. You know, I think for a lot of people writing is difficult, but it’s obviously rewarding, but you know that directing is really what I do for a living and when you get to realize that thing in your head and you’re on set and all these incredible characters that you dreamed about it are standing in front of you, you see the actors, and you are in the location … it’s really thrilling and I just… I’m very lucky to be able to have this job, is my dream job. There is nothing that fills me with more joy than directing something that I written”.Diane Paragas
Yellow Rose has something more than feeling, something more than emotion, the film has a soul. It is a raw story and as real as life itself. This is happening. So we were curious to know how Diane prepared for this film and if she interviewed undocumented families to get a first-hand experience. And if we thought we couldn’t love her more, we were wrong.
Diane not only spoke to them, but she saw the cell in which they were kept and she told us their story. She gave them the voice that American society and officials wanted to deny them.
“Yes, definitely. My background is documentary filmmaking so a few years before we shot the film to I partnered with the Philippine Legal Defense Fund and they, actually, put me in touch with families who have been arrested by ICE and even let me go visit a detention center in New Jersey where I went inside the prison walls and interviewed people who were detained at the moment and I got to see first hand and talk to people first hand about what the experience with getting separated from their family.
And one family in particular, their story and what happened to them was the basis for a lot of what happens to these two characters in my film, Rose and her mother, as the way that ICE just came and rated their house in the middle of the morning without any warning, kind of asking them to pick up and leave and, you know, without them knowing if they would ever return back to their home or where they were going or how long they would be away, that was definitely something I get first hand interviewing people and I even made a short documentary about it to help me understand but also to help back to Philippine Legal Defense Fund, they do a lot of work with the undocumented people and giving them options about what happens after they get in the system”.Diane Paragas
We confess that this movie moved us. We ended up crying several times, it was inevitable. So we wanted to know if the same thing had happened to Diane and in what particular scene she couldn’t help crying. And you have to read what she answered us.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting to me how much the film affects people because we had a very long Festival where I got to see the film with a large audience across the country and internationally and a lot of people get really emotional. I mean, they come up to me after the screening and they’ve been crying the whole time and that’s really really moving for me and I know in somewhere that I done my job right because I hits something in them whether they felt because they knew this experience because of some family members or whether they didn’t know this experience and we sure exposed to what happens in a real way.
For me, I think the scene that I get emotional on is the end when Rose talks to her mom on the phone. That seems really moving to me because part of my family is in the Philippines, my brother step with all my nephews and I don’t see them except for FaceTime and it always kind of reminds me of what it feels like to be separated from your family”.Diane Paragas
In particular, we believe that this is a film that should be screened in schools, colleges and universities in the United States to educate on these issues, so that everyone knows what these families are facing and the suffering that comes with it. But … there is always hope, right? Hope for the new generation to be aware of the problems our country is going through and to have much more heart.
We had to know what Diane thought about this and we think her answer says it all. And we couldn’t agree more with her.
“I agree. I agree. And, you know, I think especially now because so much attention has been put on COVID, with is a horrible thing is happening with taken the focus a little bit from what is happening with the families and, you know, every year, and next year is no exception, document get renewed or doesn’t get renewed, so, you know, the fate of these young people are in the hands of us and how much we make people aware what it is like and I think that what the film does really well, it’s just letting the audience kind of see what happens.
And I hope…my hope is that we warn so much political about it as much we were human about it showing what happens to this families. So, I agree with you, and we do plan to doing a Social Impact Campaign where we are going to bringing the film to high schools and two universities and two organizations who deals with undocumented issues”.Diane Paragas
We’re glad that there are plans to show this film in places where the generations of the future are educated. They can be better. It’s time for them to realize it.
We admire Diane, we really do. She’s wonderful. Kind, funny, sweet and very nice but, above all it’s … fascinating to listen to her because she is … she is so aware of everything that is happening in her country, so aware of the problems and has clear ideas about how to change it.
And that’s what she wants, for everyone to see, for everyone to open their eyes to it. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and, unfortunately, we are at a point where listening to a story doesn’t stir us inside but seeing it … that’s something else. And Diane brings it right up to our eyes. Right up to our heart. Will that change anything?
Let us hope.
And that was our interview with Diane Paragas about Yellow Rose. We really hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.