Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey follows the real life rock ‘n’ roll fairy tale of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from YouTube to become the front man for iconic American rock band Journey. In this Cinderella story for the ages, Arnel, having overcome a lifetime’s worth of hardships, must now navigate the immense pressures of replacing a legendary singer and leading a world-renowned band on their most extensive world tour in years.
Ramona Diaz is an award-winning Asian-American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling. Ramona's films have demonstrated her ability to gain intimate access to the people she films - be they rock stars, first ladies, dissidents, or teachers - resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives that are unforgettable.
In SPIRITS RISING, Ramona looked at the women’s role in the 1986 People Power revolution in the Philippines. The film received a Student Academy Award, the Ida Lupino Director's Guild of America Award, a Golden Gate Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival, a Certificate of Merit from the International Documentary Association.
In the ITVS, Sundance and CAAM-funded IMELDA, Ramona spent two years filming the former First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. The film garnered the Excellence in Cinematography Award for documentary at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and the ABCNews Videosource Award from the International Documentary Association (IDA). The film was released theatrically in the United States and the Philippines, screened in over fifty film festivals around the world, and was broadcast on Independent Lens on PBS in May 2005.
In the ITVS, Sundance and CAAM-funded THE LEARNING, Ramona followed several Filipino teachers in Baltimore City across two school years, chronicling the sacrifices they made as they tried to maintain a long-distance relationship with their children and families, and begin a new one with the mostly African-American students whose schooling was now entrusted to them. The film was nominated for an IDA Humanitas Award and was part of POV’s 24th season on PBS.
Diaz is currently in production on The Bill (working title), and in development on Pacific Rims, based on a book by the same name written by Rafe Bartholomew, which looks at the Filipino national character through the country’s obsession with basketball.
Prior to pursuing a career as an independent filmmaker, Diaz was an associate producer for Cadillac Desert, a major 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. Diaz is a graduate of Emerson College, Boston and holds an MA in Communication from Stanford University. Ramona's production company, CineDiaz, currently has a slate of feature documentaries and feature films at various stages of production and development.