Diane Paragas is an award-winning director, editor, cinematographer and producer of commercials, narrative features and documentaries. She owns and operates Civilian Studios a Brooklyn based production company. Ms Paragas began her career in advertising as an agency producer and quickly moved to MTV where she helped launch MTV in Asia. She moved to Hong Kong and was taken on as supervising producer of a 13-part documentary series called Living Asia for Discovery Channel. Returning to NY as a freelance producer/director, Diane worked for Vh-1, BBC, CNN and the Grammy Awards. Diane directed her first feature length documentary for PBS called Kababayan about Filipinos in America and produced and directed segments for the Peabody Award winning Egg. Ms Paragas work has been shown at the MOMA, won a Silver Hugo from the Chicago Film Festival and had short films featured in the Tribeca Film Festival.
She is most known for her documentary, Brooklyn Boheme, a feature-length documentary about an African American arts movement that she made in tandem with writer and critic Nelson George featuring Spike Lee, Chris Rock and Rosie Perez to name a few. After being the first documentary to open the Urbanworld Film Festival, the film was acquired by Showtime and went on to win the Black Reel Award for Best Documentary.
Eva Noblezada is an American actress and singer. Eva is best known for portraying the lead role of Kim in the 2014 West End and 2017 Broadway revivals of Miss Saigon, performances for which she won a 2015 WhatsOnStage Award and received a 2017 Tony Award nomination. She is currently starring in the Broadway Show, Hadestown.
Known across the world for her powerful voice and perfect pitch, Lea Salonga is a singer and actress who is best known for her Tony Award winning role in Miss Saigon. In addition to the Tony, she has won the Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards, in the field of musical theatre. She was also the first Asian to play Eponine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway and returned to the beloved show as Fantine in the 2006 revival.
Most recently, Lea starred in the 2018 Broadway revival of Once on This Island as the Goddess of Love, Erzulie. The show’s return to the Broadway stage earned a Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Musical” and also garnered Lea and the cast a Grammy nomination for “Best Musical Theater Album.”
Princess Punzalan, a well-respected actor in the Philippines, has taken on diverse roles in her own weekly drama anthology, various drama series, sit-coms, and movies she has done. Nominated as MMFF's Best Supporting Actress for "Magkano Ang Iyong Dangal," and as FAMAS' Best Supporting Actress for "Kung Tapos Na Ang Kailanman." She won as PMPC's Best TV Drama Actress for her unforgettable characterization of the evil aunt Selina Matias in the daily drama series, "Mula Sa Puso." She has embraced new roles as wife, mother, and registered nurse in California but still takes the time to perform when she can.
Cecilia R. Mejia
Cecilia R. Mejia is a first-generation Filipino-American, born and raised in Brooklyn. She has worked in development for several nonprofit organizations, including NGOs affiliated with the UN. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Affairs. She’s worked with several grassroots organizations focusing on underrepresented communities, which lead to her working on a short documentary about the struggles of detained undocumented families, which jumpstarted her film career. She's produced a few short films focusing on social justice issues like mental health and gender inequality. She is a Social Impact Producer for the award-winning film, Call Her Ganda. She has produced a number of projects including the upcoming Yellow Rose and Lingua Franca, working on the creative, funding and social impact components of films. Inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk: The danger of a single story and by her own experiences in finding her voice, Cecilia is combining her love of film with the goal of focusing on social impact stories that inspire change, most specifically with under-resourced youth through her organization Art of Me.
Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga to Star in Musical Drama ‘Yellow Rose’
By: Dave McNary