We caught up with Writer/Director of Model Minority, Lily Mariye and the cast of the film on the red carpet at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival where it premiered. The film is about Kayla Tanaka (Nicole Bloom), who is 16 and half-Japanese, half-white, but totally American. Kayla meets Treyshawn Doty (Delon de Metz), a 19-year-old drug dealer, who is kind and sympathetic about the humiliating secret of Kayla’s mother’s drug addiction giving her money and love. When Kayla discovers her mother passed out in the neighborhood dealer’s bed, her life spirals out of control. She escapes the harsh realities of life into the fast lane with Treyshawn until she ends up being arrested having been turned in by Treyshawn to save himself. We asked the cast about how they became involved in the film and then had a chance to watch the film to a sold out, overflow audience at the CGV Cinemas in Koreatown.
MODEL MINORITY FILM REVIEW
Let’s be clear about where this review is gonna go. Lily Mariye has created an amazing film of complex characters that is driven by an outstanding performance by lead actress Nicole Bloom in her first feature film role. Not only does Nicole command your attention, but she has the ability to weave through the diversity of her character’s emotions without banging the audience over the head with extremes. No doubt she and the other actors have the director to thank for defining all the characters carefully without making them dramatic, dull or one dimensional. While the film deals with an interracial family and some of the issues specific to being hapa, it doesn’t diminish the fact that the issues of family, adolescence, love and pain cannot be understand and the characters being relatable to anyone who sees the film. The story is original, insightful and in the end thought provoking showing the trial and tribulations of life and growing up along with all the hope and joy that life has to offer. In case you didn’t read the first couple of sentences or forgot already, this is a film to put on your “must see” list.
Model Minority will have an encore screening at the festival on May 15th @ 9:15PM at the CGV Cinemas. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the festival website: LAAPFF