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New Minnesota movie explores life with albinism

Updated: Apr 17

The independent film “Jasmine is a Star” tells the story of a young aspiring model with albinism.

The film, produced by E.G. Bailey and Sha Cage, premiered at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival earlier this year and has been screening at film festivals around the country ever since. At heart, Sha Cage says “Jasmine is a Star” is a film about the underrepresented

“It showcases a day in her life,” she said, “but also how she takes agency and empowerment through her own situation. What excites me about the film as a producer, is its ability to wake people up to inform, to educate, but also to put the spotlight on someone that grew up “othered,” not only on film, but also in real life.”

The role of Jasmine is played by real-life model Iyana LeShea.

“Iyana talks about how the experience really changed her life, and she had never acted before. To see her step into those big shoes so effortlessly, and to see this film being embraced from both coasts to other parts of the world is super exciting.”

Sha Cage says amplifying the underrepresented is change-making behind the camera. She says she loves stories that shift the landscape of the film scene.

“I am just excited to amplify Black film in Minnesota and around the world,” she said.

“Jasmine is a Star” was directed by Jo Rochelle. You can find out more about the film at

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