DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY (opening night film)
Directed by Ramona S. Diaz
Audience Award, 2012 Traverse Film Festival
Closing Night Film, 2012 San Francisco International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2012 Tribeca Film Festival
In 2007, legendary American rock band Journey needed a new singer. While in the midst of a fruitless online search, Journey guitarist Neal Schon stumbled upon video clips of Filipino singer Arnel Pineda on YouTube. Schon was blown away by Pineda’s powerful voice and charisma, not to mention his astonishing ability to emulate the vocal style of former Journey lead singer Steve Perry. Convinced that Pineda was the perfect choice to front the band, Schon brought the Filipino unknown to California to win over the rest of his bandmates. The result was the unlikeliest of all rags-to-riches underdog success stories, one that still sounds completely impossible, even during our current era of globalization and instant internet celebrity: a modest former street urchin from Manila had become the lead singer of the multi-platinum American rock band responsible for the most downloaded song in history.
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ramona Diaz (Imelda, The Learning) beautifully captures this modern-day fairy tale in the wonderfully entertaining and wryly humorous DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’. The film chronicles Pineda’s whirlwind rise from the streets of Manila to performing in front of sold-out arenas throughout the world, and provides an inside look at life on the road as a member of an iconic rock band. Filled with both quiet moments providing intimate details on how Pineda learned to handle his newfound fame, and exhilarating footage of Pineda’s dynamic performances in concert, this film will have you singing out loud and leave you filled with hope. –Gene Huh
Co-presented by: BLT’s T-Shirts, Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego (FALSD), Filipino American National Historical Society – San Diego Chapter (FANHS-SD), PASACAT, PROVEN, Inc, Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center, San Diego Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans, SanDiegoFilipino.com, USD Communication Studies