Independent Lens Presents Donít Stop Believiní: Everymanís Journey, a Rock and Roll Fantasy Come True for Filipino Singer Chosen as Journeyís New Frontman


WEBWIRE – Monday, July 22, 2013

Donít Stop Believiní: Everymanís Journey Premieres on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 10 PM ET as Part of the First PBS Independent Film Showcase

(San Francisco, CA) ó Independent Lens gets off to a hard-driving start with the premiere of award-winning filmmaker Ramona Diazís delightful Donít Stop Believiní: Everymanís Journey, the real life rock and roll fairy tale of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the frontman for the iconic American rock band Journey. The film premieres on Independent Lens on Monday, September 30, 2013, 10-11:30 PM ET as part of the first PBS Independent Film Showcase (check local listings).

For Arnel Pineda, who had been performing in small clubs in Manila, the past five years have been the stuff that dreams are made of. In 2007, a friend of Arnelís began uploading videos of him covering classic rock songs to YouTube. Halfway around the world, Neal Schon, guitarist for Journey, stumbled upon them as he was combing the internet, looking for a singer with the vocal chops to lead the band on its next tour. Blown away by Pinedaís talent and uncanny vocal similarity to former Journey frontman Steve Perry, Schon flew Pineda from Manila to San Francisco to audition for the band.

But Pinedaís personal journey had just begun. With no formal music training, Arnel was anything but prepared for the grueling physical and emotional strains that come from fronting a beloved rock band on a high-stakes whirlwind world tour. Donít Stop Believiní follows Pineda as he faces the demands of newfound fame, overcomes hostility and skepticism from fans, and ultimately triumphs through his extraordinary vocal ability.

ďThis is a quintessentially modern rags-to-riches story, one that could only have happened in this self-referential age of social media,Ē filmmaker Ramona Diaz says. ďAnd no matter how clichť it seems, it really is a story of never giving up.Ē

Visit the Donít Stop Believiní: Everymanís Journey companion website (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/dont-stop-believin/), which features information about the film, including an interview with the filmmaker and links and resources pertaining to the filmís subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film and more.

About the Filmmakers

Ramona Diaz (Director/Writer/Producer) is an award-wining Asian-American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling. Ramonaís films have demonstrated her ability to gain intimate access to the people she films - be they rock stars, first ladies, dissidents, or teachers Ė resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives that are unforgettable. She has received funding from major agencies such as ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Tribeca Institute, CAAM, and CPB. Aside from Donít Stop Believiní: Everymanís Journey, her credits include Spirits Rising (Student Academy Award, Directorís Guild of America Award), Imelda (Excellence in Cinematography Award, 2004 Sundance Film Festival, IDA Award, Independent Lens, Film Forum) and The Learning (POV, IDA nomination). Diaz is currently in production on The Bill (working title), a hybrid documentary film about reproductive justice funded by ITVS, Sundance, and Chicken & Egg.

Prior to pursuing a career as an independent filmmaker, Diaz was an associate producer for Cadillac Desert, a PBS documentary series about the quest for water in the American West. In 2005, Diaz broadened her repertoire to include television commercial directing and producing. Her production company, CineDiaz (www.cinediaz.com), currently has a slate of feature documentaries and feature films at various stages of production and development. Diaz is a graduate of Emerson College and holds an MA in Communication from Stanford University.

Capella Fahoome (Producer) founded Defining Entertainment in 1996 with the mission of creating meaningful programming that documents powerful stories of the human spirit. Defining Entertainment has done just that, with an impressive portfolio of multiple narrative and documentary feature films, television series, national television commercials, PSAs, and short films. Capella continues to produce projects that reward the audience for their investment with stories that inspire, excite, teach, compel, ignite emotion and showcase the experiences that connect us all together as human beings. www.DefiningEntertainment.com

Josh Green (Executive Producer) is a partner at New York based film company Game 7 Films. He has extensive experience across multiple areas of the film business including producing, representing, marketing, distributing, and exhibiting feature films. In total he has worked on more than 60 films. His recent production credits in addition to Donít Stop Believiní: Everymanís Journey include documentaries Kassim the Dream (IFC Films/ESPN Classic), about a child soldier turned champion boxer, and I Want My Name Back (Image/RLJ Entertainment), on rap pioneers and original Sugarhill Gang members Wonder Mike and Master Gee.

CREDITS

Director: Ramona S. Diaz

Producers: Ramona S. Diaz & Capella Fahoome Brogden

Executive Producers: Capella Fahoome Brogden, John Baruck, Josh Green

Cinematographer: Julia Dengle & Vicente Franco

Editor: Leah Marino

Writer: Ramona S. Diaz

Sound Editors: Elizabeth Fausak & Randy Matuszewski

Supervising Sound Editor: Christopher Koch

About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is an Emmyģ AwardĖwinning weekly series airing on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about unique individuals, communities and moments in history. Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The series producer is Lois Vossen.



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