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20/06/2012: Documentary on Journey Front Man Arnel Pineda Opened Silverdocs Festival

Left photo: Ambassador Cuisia congratulates Don’t Stop Believin writer and director Ramona Diaz. Among the films that Diaz made are Imelda and The Learning.

Right photo: Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon greets Ambassador Cuisia as they are interviewed at the red carpet at the Opening Night of Silverdocs Festival.

20 June 2012, Washington, DC – The documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey made by critically-acclaimed Filipino documentary filmmaker Ramona Diaz was the Opening Night film of the Silverdocs Festival produced by the American Film Institute (AFI) and the Discovery Channel. Silverdocs is the premiere documentary festival in the United States. The Opening Night was held last June 18 at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. was the special guest at the Silverdocs Festival Opening Night that featured a film about a Filipino and made by a Filipino. The Ambassador said, “I congratulate Ramona for creating a beautiful feel-good film. Ramona has a natural gift for story-telling and the reception of the people to what she did was heartwarming.”

Don’t Stop Believing is about the fairy tale story of Filipino singer Arnel Pineda, the current lead vocalist of the 1980’s iconic band Journey. Arnel Pineda was discovered via YouTube by the lead guitarist of Journey, Neal Schon.

Pineda came from a poor family and had to earn a living to support his family at a young age. He grew up in the streets and sang in exchange for some food or money. In his adult years, he sang covers in clubs and even tried his luck as a club singer in Hong Kong. He was ready to give up his dreams when he received a surprise call from Neal Schon asking him to go to the US and audition for the band. The rest, as they say, is history. Since 2008, Journey with Pineda as their front man has been touring and performing before crowds of 20,000 people. They have also produced new records. The record Don’t Stop Believing by Journey is said to be the most downloaded song in the 20th century.

Ambassador Cuisia said, “We are proud of what Arnel has accomplished as an artist and as a person. He remains level headed and humble to this day.” Arnel Pineda established a foundation in the Philippines that helps street children.

Don’t Stop Believin was included in the Tribeca Film Festival in New York last April and in the San Francisco International Film Festival last May. It is slated to be released in other film festivals this year and for theatrical release next year. The public may still catch Don’t Stop Believin on June 24 at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, MD. - END