New York—Award-winning director Diane
Paragas has joined Accomplice Media for exclusive representation in
commercials. Paragas’s work spans commercials, documentaries, narrative films
and branded content with much of it rooted in the stories of real people. On
the advertising side, she has directed campaigns for American Airlines, the New
York State Department of Health, and, the latter a First
Place winner in Google’s TV for All Contest. Her documentary work includes Brooklyn Boheme¸ a 2012 feature-length
documentary for Showtime that she made in tandem with writer and critic Nelson

“Diane is an exceptionally talented filmmaker with a gift
for telling stories in an insightful and powerful way,” says Accomplice Media
executive producer Mel Gragido. “She brings unique skills and a creative vision
that, we believe, will resonate with a lot of brands.”
Paragas was born in Minneapolis but was repatriated to the
Philippines when she was a year old. She returned to the U.S. at age four and
spent the rest of her youth in Lubbock, Texas, where she studied painting,
music and film. She began her career as a producer with boutique ad agency LLT.
She later joined MTV and helped to launch MTV Asia, and also worked for
Discovery Asia. It was there that she began to focus on documentary filmmaking.
Diane Paragas
Paragas’s films have appeared on BET, Discovery, MTV, Bravo
and PBS.  Brooklyn Boheme, which premiered on Showtime in February 2012,
celebrated the Afro-American arts renaissance centered in Fort Greene Brooklyn
and featured Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Rosie Perez and Saul Williams, among many
others. While working on that film, Paragas was contracted by Burrell
Advertising to direct, shoot and edit a web-based travel series for American
Airlines.  That series, which also
featured Nelson George as well as actor Laz Alonso and recording artists Laura Izibor and John Legend, eventually spanned three seasons and some 30
cities worldwide, including Beijing, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro and Paris.
“We were writing and directing on the fly,” Paragas
recalls. “By the third season, people were telling us where to go, so it became
very interactive. It’s a different kind of advertising—the agency took its
entire ad budget and made a web series. That’s where I believe advertising is
moving, more value-added content.”
For, an online community that allows users to
build family histories, Paragas wrote, produced and directed 14 spots in which
people relate deeply personal stories about themselves and their relatives.
Paragas elevated the work above simple testimonials both by getting her
subjects to open up and by using personal photographs to place them in stylized
“I wanted it to have the feel of a family album come to life;
it’s meant to appear very handmade, antique,” she explains.  “My aim is to bring real people spots into
the realm of cinema, to make them more stylized, more artistic. I believe that
is a message that every brand could use.”
Paragas’s most recent work is an inspiring documentary commercial
for CoverGirl focusing on an empowerment camp for teenage girls promoting
leadership and beauty from within.
Currently, Paragas is developing a narrative feature film, Yellow Rose, about an Asian-American
woman pursuing a dream to become a country music star. She is also working to
establish a charitable foundation to support the work of Asian-American
filmmakers. “To me, commercials, documentaries and narrative films are all
about storytelling,” she says. “I don’t distinguish between them. Whether I’m
working with a big crew, a small crew or by myself, it’s all storytelling.”
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