Jhett Tolentino bio docu wins European Independent Film Bronze Award

Jhett Tolentino
Jhett Tolentino’s “Life is What You Make It” tells the story of the Broadway producer’s overcoming poverty, making it in New York, and coming home to trace his steps. Credits to Jhett Tolentino.

Three-time Tony awardee Jhett Tolentino’s biographical documentary “Life is What You Make It” has again picked up another international award.

The Filipino-American Broadway music producer announced on the short film’s Facebook page on May 23 his Bronze Medal win at the European Independent Film Festival (EIFA) in Germany.

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SEE Awards received by Jhett Tolentino.

Tolentino’s documentary feature had previously won 7 major international recognitions in 2018.

Jhett Tolentino Life is what you make it
Credits to Life is What You Make It

The Grammy winner’s short film tells the story of his journey from being an impoverished Iloilo youth to becoming a celebrated figure in the United States and the only Filipino producer on Broadway.

“Life is Whay You Make It” follows Jhett Tolentino as he returns to the Philippines after more than a decade since he immigrated to the United States. The film reveals the surprises, love, hope and inspiration that welcome him back to Iloilo City and the schools he attended in the land of his birth.

READ about Jhett Tolentino’s Grammy Award for the Color Purple.

Good News Pilipinas talked to Jhett Tolentino about his film’s new award from the prestigious EIFA and his other projects.

Good News Pilipinas:
What is the message you want to deliver to Filipinos through your bio documentary?

Jhett Tolentino:
Immigrant stories are universal. Mine is extra special because Filipinos go the extra mile. We go for lengths like nobody’s business. May this inspire more Pinoys to focus on their dreams and never let go until they happen.

You’ve received multiple recognitions for “Life is What You Make It”. What’s next in line for you?

My bio-doc still has a few international film festivals lined up throughout the year. But I’d be in discussion soon with a sales agent and/or a distributor for it to be available online for a global audience.

For the Philippines, I have a different plan that I’m discussing with my manager there, Boy Abunda.

The first feature film I produced, Lingua Franca, written and directed by Isabel Sandoval is already in post production. It is the first film in the world to be written and directed by a trans woman, and of color.

We got quite a support for that film from IFP, SF Film, Frameline, Tribeca Institute NYFA, MOME.

My second feature film is scheduled to shoot this fall – Sprout. My 3rd feature film is with Filipino celebrities to be shot here in NY by Spring 2020.

Are you also eager to follow the journey of our source of Filipino Pride in New York? Send your congratulations below to Jhett Tolentino, inspiring Fil-Am Broadway music producer!

If you have a Filipino Pride story to share or you want us to cover, tag us on social media with #GoodNewsPilipinas

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.