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Maricel Soriano to Join Cast of Trans-Led Romcom RE-LIVE: A TALE OF AN AMERICAN ISLAND CHEERLEADER

Soriano will portray Thelma alongside Rain Valdex and Rachel Leyco.

Maricel Soriano to Join Cast of Trans-Led Romcom RE-LIVE: A TALE OF AN AMERICAN ISLAND CHEERLEADER

Maricel Soriano will be playing Thelma, the loving mother matriarch to Rowena and Rochelle, played by Rain Valdez and Rachel Leyco respectively, in the trans-led homecoming romcom Re-Live: A Tale Of An American Island Cheerleader, which is due to get underway in November in Hawai'i and Guam.

Tony and Grammy-winning producer Jhett Tolentino (Lingua Franca) is executive producing with Shant Joshi's Fae Pictures, which is launching Chase Joynt's Framing Agnes at the Sundance Film Festival, and Rain Valdez, who garnered a Primetime Emmy nomination for her performance in the series she created, Razor Tongue.

In Re-Live, a transgender movie star decides to face her past and return home to Guam for her high school reunion's "Do-Over Week," offering her a chance to live her childhood dream of becoming a cheerleader. Rowena's commitment to the cheer squad falters when her mother's cancer begins to take a toll. In her homecoming, she learns to value THE FAMILY she left behind. In addition to co-writing, starring, and producing, this will be Valdez's feature directorial debut.

Maricel Soriano, dubbed "The Diamond Star" of the Philippines has had a career spanning 50 years in Television and in Film. Soriano is the third most awarded film actress of all time in the Philippines, holding nineteen Best Actress wins including FAMAS Awards Best Actress, the Philippines equivalent to the Oscars, and Luna Award for Best Actress.

"She was always our first choice; we grew up watching her! Having a legendary Filipino actress like Maricel Soriano strengthens our commitment to telling our stories from our authentic experiences and for our Filipinx diaspora. Now more than ever, this empowers us to further highlight our communities at a time when visibility must be taken to new heights to fight against the rise of anti-trans and anti-Asian violence. Through this funny, heartfelt romcom, we are changing the narrative in cinema - that women, Asian-Americans, and LGBTQ+ folx, belong and can be the center in these spaces," said Rachel Leyco & Rain Valdez.

Re-Live was selected for Inside Out's LGBT Finance Forum in 2021 and won the INSIDE OUT Pitch Please! Competition in 2019.

Jhett is a multi-award-winning entertainment producer based in New York City. Born, raised, and educated in Iloilo City,he debuted on Broadway with Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike starring Sigourney Weaver, which won the 2013 Tony Award Best Play. The following year, he won two more TONY AWARDS for producing A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, and A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington. He won a GRAMMY for The Color Purple cast album recording that featured Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson, and Danielle Brooks. After 19 theatrical productions in 7 years, he ventured into filmmaking with his autobiographical documentary Life Is What You Make It. In 2019, he produced Isabel Sandoval's feature film Lingua Franca which premiered at the 76th Venice Film Festival. Come Spring 2022, Jhett is making his feature directorial debut in the upcoming rom-com Asian Persuasion starring Dante Basco.

Rain Valdez received her first Primetime Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series" for her lead role in RAZOR TONGUE, which she created, crowdfunded and produced. Her work in film and television garnered her a GLAAD Media Award and the Outfest Trailblazer Award in 2021.

As a director, Rain recently completed Ryan Murphy's Half Initiative program by shadow directing on FX's groundbreaking show POSE under the directing mentorship of Gwyneth Horder-Payton. Rain also worked as Director's Assistant and Associate Producer on Amazon's TRANSPARENT, working closely with the show's prominent directors, including creator Joey Soloway, Marta Cunningham, Andrea Arnold and Silas Howard. Valdez's rom-com short RYANS, which she stars in, screened in over 15 film festivals worldwide after premiering at Outfest, winning the Jury Award for Best North American Short at the NCGLFF. Rain's short film HEXED was nominated for Best Director, Best Comedy and Best Actress at the Madrid International Film Festival. Rain has been named one of Outfest LA's Next Generation of Filmmakers and her pitch for RE-LIVE won the INSIDE OUT Pitch Please! Contest in 2019. In 2016, Rain was given a summer residency at BuzzFeed Videos to create, write, direct and produce 6 videos for Pride Month.

Rachel is a Filipina-American, award-winning filmmaker/writer/actor, passionate about telling stories that make a positive impact. Notably, she won a student Emmy at the 2013 College Television Awards, for her web series, THE SUB Club. Her short films, Maple's Tree, Bicultural, and Crazy: the digital series were official selections in film festivals around the world, including Outfest, BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+, and others. Recently, her TV scripts have advanced as finalists in the 2018 NBC Writers on the Verge program, a semi-finalist in the 2019 Sundance Episodic Lab and a finalist in the 2020 Sundance Makers Lab. Her feature film script for Violet, Violet landed her THE RUNNER-UP award in the 2020 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition. As an actress, Rachel's TV credits include NBC's Chicago Fire, BET's GAMES PEOPLE PLAY as 'Susie Q', Netflix's Atypical, and Peacock's Bel-Air as 'Chloe.'

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