“Yellow Rose,” starring Eva Noblezada, impresses audiences at the Asian American International Film Festival

NEW YORK — Broadway star and Tony-nominated Fil-Am actress Eva Noblezada’s dramatic movie debut, “Yellow Rose,” opened this year’s Asian American International Film Festival to a sold-out screening in NYC.

Eva plays the role of Rose Garcia – a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant from a small Texas town who wants to pursue her country music dreams. But her life took a different turn when her mother, played by Princess Punzalan, was arrested by immigration agents.

Broadway legend and Tony Award winner, Lea Salonga, in her comeback movie — plays the role of Tita Gail, Rose’s aunt.

With the Trump administration’s increased crackdown on undocumented immigrants, Yellow Rose is an eye-opener into the desperation of families separated during enforcement operations.

“What kind of society is this that is allowing something like this to happen, it helps to start conversations, it starts to make people think maybe not just all about yeah ship all the brown people back to where they came from… it’s a little bit more nuanced than that.”

While Yellow Rose does not take any kind of political position, director Diane Paragas said telling rose’s story alone has elicited different reactions.

“Some people are on this side of the political debate, some people are on that side of the political debate, but by the end of the film, most people feel great sympathy for the plight of Dreamers.”

Moviegoers said the Garcia family’s story made an impact on them.

“My heart broke for the people who are getting arrested, deported — that just breaks my heart.”

“Regardless of whether you are a Filipino woman, 0r a white gay man, or somebody from South America, whatever minority group that you may belong to, it speaks to that group.”

As Yellow Rose continues its film festival run in the U.S., its producers are seeking distributors who can bring the film to a bigger audience — through nationwide screenings.

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