Bev’s Girl Films latest release is The Language Lesson starring Jaygee Macapugay as Jenny and Deven Kolluri as Professor Nadal. Executive Produced by Lia Chang and Garth Kravits (co-founders of Bev’s Girl Films), The Language Lesson was directed by Mr. Kravits (Gettin’ the Band Back Together, The Drowsy Chaperone) and features choreography by Karla Puno Garcia (Hamilton).
School of Rock’s Jaygee Macapugay (Soft Power, Here Lies Love) wants to tell Filipino American stories through musical theatre. She is thrilled to share The Language Lesson, her debut musical short film based on the music & lyrics of Paulo K Tiról; it follows Jenny, a Filipino immigrant who has a crush on her ESL teacher. Tiról’s Filipino immigrant song cycle, On This Side of the World, was recently presented by Prospect Theatre Company at the Greenwich House Theater last February. Scroll down for behind the scenes photos and to watch the film.
The suppporting cast of The Language Lesson includes Carol Angeli, Taylor DeNapoli, Aaron Jay Green, Rashaan James II, Jessie Lawyer, Natalie Leonard, Kaleo Nadal, Luana Psaros, Anastasia Shulgina, Katie Shults, Michael Sylvester, Miles Wilkie, Virginia Wing and Minami Yusui are featured as students/dancers.
According to Macapugay, “Working on Paulo’s music has been one of the greatest privileges of my career. I wasn’t sure if I should release the film because I didn’t want to be insensitive to the coronavirus crisis affecting the world. But this film, shot on location in New York City, celebrates diversity in the arts right now- a Filipino American story written by a Filipino American composer and featuring a FilAm choreographer, Asian American leads, and fourteen gorgeously diverse actor/dancers. Even our producer, band, hair/make-up team, and craft service are comprised mainly of artists of color.
While in the editing room with director/editor Garth Kravits prior to today’s release made me nostalgic for last month, where my friends and I were all in a room, creating in a space where we weren’t worried about social distancing, hand sanitizing, or even hugging. But no virus is going to stop artists from creating. I see that every time I look at my Facebook or Instagram timelines. Most importantly, our film is about the feeling you get when you fall in love, and I think there’s never a bad time for the world to hear a message about love.”
The creative team includes Garth Kravits (Director, Director of Photography, Editor), Paulo K Tiról (Music & Lyrics), Karla Puno Garcia (Choreographer), Jessica Wu (Unit Production Manager, Live Sound Recording), Eric Elizaga (1st Assistant Director), Jorge Robayo (Grip), Dorothy Bhadra, Giuliana Brandon (Hair/Make-Up), Caylie Rose Newcom (Associate Choreographer), Ali Ewoldt (Production Assistant), Lia Chang (BTS Photography), Jen Dadivas Hong (ESL Consultant) with catering provided by Jeepney.
The film score was recorded live at Yes It Is! Studios by Engineer and Mixer Garth Kravits, with Music Director Ian Miller on Piano, Chris Peters on Guitar, Billy Smolen on Bass, Garth Kravits on Drums and Jonathan Cuevas on Cello.
Special thanks to Kevin Nadal, David McQueen and Nicole Ponseca.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman, Balancing Act, Belongingness, When the World was Young and Hide and Seek.