Diane Paragas is an award-winning writer/director and producer of narrative features, documentaries and commercials.
In 2019, Paragas completed her debut narrative feature, Yellow Rose, about an undocumented Filipino-American teen pursuing a dream to become a country music singer. The film won over a dozen Grand Jury and Audience Awards and was distributed by Sony Pictures theatrically in 2020 to critical acclaim including several best of the year awards from Variety, Rotten Tomatoes and Entertainment Tonight. Yellow Rose made history by being the first Filipino American film theatrically distributed by a major Hollywood studio.
She owns and operates Civilian Studios a Brooklyn based production company. In 2012, she co-directed Brooklyn Boheme, a feature length documentary about an African American arts movement that she co-directed with Nelson George. The film which featured Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Rosie Perez and many others premiered on Showtime and went on to win the Black Reel Award for TV Best Documentary.
Paragas is currently in production for a bold feature documentary about a wrongfully convicted undocumented immigrant called The Three Lives of David Wong that uses puppetry to tell its story. The film is being supported by the Sundance Institute, the Bertha Foundation and the Center for Asian American Media.
Diane’s next film is a bold pop opera film entitled Lizards which follows the journey of a young Filipina with a magical lizard who eventually becomes a guerrilla in Japanese occupied Philippines during WWII. Paragas is also attached to direct By the Waters of Babylon, written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Robert Schenkkan (Hacksaw Ridge, Quiet American) produced by Cary Brokaw (Closer, Angels in America) and Frida Torresblanco (Pan’s Labyrinth, Disobedience).
Ms Paragas recently was awarded a 2022 United States Artist Fellowship whose past winners include Barry Jenkins, Dee Rees, Lee Isaac Chung and Kelly Reichardt. She has received fellowships from the Geena Davis Institute and Creative Capital . She was also selected for Goldhouse’s A100 list of Most Impactful Asians of 2020 along with film directors Bong Joon Ho, Lulu Wang, Jon Chu and Taika Waititi.
In her spare time, she is a short order cook, driver and part time school teacher for her 7 year old daughter.