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From award-winning filmmaker, Deborah Riley Draper, the immigration film “Illegal Rose” officially selected for Urbanworld and headed to 7-day theatrical engagement in New York

Atlanta, Georgia, 09/16/2019 / /



Opens September 20 at Cinema Village in New York City after Urbanworld Film Festival

NEW YORK (September 16, 2019) – Coffee Bluff Pictures announces the theatrical release of Illegal Rose, a short film written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper (Versailles ‘73: American Runway Revolution, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice) starring Jasmine Guy (“A Different World,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Vampire Diaries”) and introducing newcomer Lucca Rodriguez-Pedraza. “Illegal Rose” tackles the timely issue of immigration. The director will be in attendance for Q&A on September 20 and the film will enjoy a 7-day run at Cinema Village in New York September 20-26.  “Illegal Rose” will also make its East Coast premiere in the Oscar-qualifying narrative shorts competition at the Urbanworld Film Festival on September 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm at AMC Empire 25. 

“Illegal Rose” tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Rose, a tired, disengaged, almost retired nurse who accidentally kidnaps Sylvie, a 9-year-old ICE detention center runaway, on the 4th of July. The two women change each other’s lives and perspectives. “Illegal Rose” explores respect, decency and kindness through two people of different generations, ages, races and legal status, as they navigate their choices and the consequences.

“My vision with ‘Illegal Rose’ is to create a dynamic and thoughtful conversation about humankind and the importance of being both human and kind to one another,” Riley Draper said. “I hope to build empathy, encourage audiences to deeply and directly immerse themselves in the circumstances of all others, and spur action and engagement in the neighborhood, community and country in a positive way. ‘Illegal Rose’ reminds us that we are all human and no human being is illegal.”

Riley Draper is a 2017 NAACP Image Awards nominee, on the 2016 Variety magazine “Top 10 Documakers to Watch” list, and a 2018 Facebook SEEN Initiative alumna. In August, “Illegal Rose” screened to a sold-out audience at the BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta, and the Capital City Black Film Festival (CCBFF) in Austin, Texas. At CCBFF, Riley Draper was honored with the Harlem Lights Award, which recognizes luminaries in all fields of endeavor that include and influence the creative arts. Riley Draper was presented the award by actor Julius Tennon, who along with his wife Viola Davis, leads JuVee Film Productions in Los Angeles. Riley Draper will direct her screen adaptation of “Coffee Will Make You Black,” produced by Octavia Spencer, Gabrielle Union and Tate Taylor.

“Illegal Rose” is presented by Russell M. Williamson Sr. in association with Williamson Media Group and Coffee Bluff Pictures. Executive producers include: Russell M. Williamson Sr., Cheryl Polote-Williamson, Elaine M. Brown, Nina-White Hodge, Michael A. Draper, Toni T. Ellis, Laurie Evans, Dretona Maddox, Rachel Mathews, Carla Tyson and James Hutchinson.

Trailer available here: 

Facebook: illegalrosefilm

Instagram: coffeebluffpictures

14 minutes * unrated * USA * 2019 * 

Cinema Village

22 East 12th St.

New York, NY 10003

(212) 924-3363

Ticket info:

UrbanWorld Film Festival

September 20, 2019 – 5pm Screening

AMC Empire 25

Ticket Info:

Dropbox link to film stills & key art:


Coffee Bluff Pictures is an Atlanta-based independent film venture created to develop, produce and distribute compelling stories to satiate the African-American appetite for films founded by advertising agency executive and filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper. The company’s work explores interesting, under-represented characters and the rich, complicated journeys they embark upon in the U.S. and around the world.

For more information about Deborah Riley Draper, Coffee Bluff Pictures and “Illegal Rose,” please visit and 

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Social Media Tags:Deborah Riley Draper, Filmmaker, Immigration Film amp;amp;amp;quot;Illegal Rose, Immigration Films, Urbanworld Film Festival, Cinema Village in New York


Release ID: 12603

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