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‘Yellow Rose’ Takes Grand Jury Prize at Asian Pacific Film Fest

UPDATED: “Yellow Rose,” written, directed, and produced by Diane Paragas, was awarded the Grand Jury Award for outstanding North American narrative feature at the 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival,  which ran May 2-10.

The audience awards went to “The Farewell,” directed by Lulu Wang and starring Awkwafina, for favorite narrative feature, and to “Journey to Ifugao,” directed by Nicanor Evangelista Jr., for favorite documentary. Those awards were unveiled on May 14.

Special Jury Awards for cinematography, actress and breakthrough performance went, respectively, to Ante Cheng for “Ms. Purple”; Maya Erskine for “Plus One”; and Eva Noblezada for “Yellow Rose.”

“Seadrift,” directed by Tim Tsai, took home the Grand Jury Award for North American documentary feature, while the jury-panelists gave Special Jury Awards to “Jaddoland,” directed by Nadia Shihab, and “Origin Story,” directed by Kulap Vilaysack.

The Grand Jury Award for international narrative feature went to “House of Hummingbird,” directed by Bora Kim. Jury Awards went to Leon Le for “Song Lang,” and to the directors ensemble of “Vai”: ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Amberley Jo Aumua, Becs Arahanga, Dianna Fuemana, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Matasila Freshwater, Mīria George, Nicole Whippy.

Grand Jury Award for international documentary feature went to two films: “For Sama,” directed by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts; and “Our Time Machine,” directed by S. Leo Chiang Yang Sun. Special Jury Awards went to Vea Mafile’o and Jeremiah Tauamiti for “For My Father’s Kingdom”; and Kavich Neang for “Last Night I Saw You Smiling.”

“Manila Is Full of Men Named Boy,” directed by Andrew Stephen Lee, won the festival’s Golden Reel Award for narrative short film. That means it’s eligible for consideration for 2019 Oscars, since LAAPFF is an Academy Award-qualifying festival for short film awards.

In addition, the Golden Reel for documentary short went to “All in My Family,” directed by Hao Wu, and the annual Linda Mabalot New Directors/New Visions Award went to directors Becca Park and Jun Shimizu for their “Speak Easy, B.”

The shorts jury also gave out a Special Jury Award for Impact to Hammad Rizvi for “Rani,” and a New Voices Award to Anika Kan Grevstad and Mari Young for “No One Ever Really Dies.”

This year, LAAPFF established two inaugural Emerging Filmmaker Awards. The Emerging Filmmaker Award for narrative feature went to Peter S. Lee and Julian Kim for “Happy Cleaners.” The Emerging Filmmaker Award for documentary feature was given to Yu Gu for her “A Woman’s Work: THE NFL’s Cheerleader Problem.”

Lindy Leong was senior festival programmer for the LAAPFF, which was presented by Visual Communications.

“Our artists and their films were amazing this year,” said Francis Cullado, executive director of Visual Communications. “Their stories and their craftsmanship raised the bar. The dialogue, conversations, and resource sharing that took place during our panels and presentations were on point and timely. This Festival is once again a great signifier of what is coming and our artists are at the ready and at the forefront of this sea change with their films and projects.  I’m grateful to them for making cultural connections with all of our communities.”

The 35th LAAPFF jurors included Dan Truong, Jacqueline Lyanga, Quan Phung, William Yu, Christina Chang, Claire Aguilar, Ianeta Le’i, Mike Kaspar, Set Hernandez Rongkilyo, Sudeep Sharma, Ben-Alex Dupris, Marty Syjuco, Marya Bangee, Stephanie Matsuba, Fawzia Mirza, Hussain Currimbhoy, Joe Seo, Justin Tipping, and Marritte Go.

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