Nice Girl Films presents Model Minority, the debut feature of actor and now award-winning screenwriter and director, Lily Mariye, which will have its East Coast premiere on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 4:45p.m. at the 35th Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF’12), at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas, 260 West 23rd Street in New York.
Model Minority was written, directed and co-produced by Lily Mariye (best known for her role as Nurse Lily Jarvik on the hit TV show, ER, for 15 seasons, and her award-winning short film The Shangri-la Cafe). The film stars Jessica Tuck (“True Blood)”, Laura Innes (“The Event,” “Awake)”, and Helen Slater (The Lying Game, City Slickers).
Model Minority is the story of Kayla Tanaka (Nichole Bloom), an underprivileged Japanese-American 16-year old, who endangers her promising future as an aspiring artist when she becomes involved with a drug dealer. The film includes Takayo Fischer (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), Chris Tashima (Academy Award winner/Live Action Short film in 2001), and music by three-time Grammy nominee, saxophonist Boney James. The film recently garnered three awards at its World Premiere at the 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival: Special Jury Outstanding Director, Breakthrough Performance by a New Actor for Nichole Bloom, and Outstanding Cinematography.
As an actress Ms. Mariye has guest starred in over 25 television shows and numerous national commercials. Her film credits include Extraordinary Measures, with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser, Hancock, American Pie: Band Camp, The Doctor (directed by DWW alumna Randa Haines), The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, The Shadow, and The New Age.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ms. Mariye attended UCLA and graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts. She performed in many local Los Angeles theatre productions including the West Coast Premiere of Runaways,Cabaret and Daniel in Babylon (with her “ER” costar Anthony Edwards). She made her off-Broadway debut at the Manhattan Theatre Club in Velina Hasu Houston’s Tea, and received a Dramalogue Award for her reprisal of the performance at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Other theatre work includes Kokoro (Odyssey Theatre, nominated for a LA Weekly Award for Best Actress), Kimchee and Chitlins (Mark Taper Forum Lab Series), and Into the Woods (East West Players). Her award-winning first short film, The Shangri-la Cafe, is available from Amazon and Buy.com on the DVD, “Celebrating AFI.”