Viet Film Fest 2018: My Top Picks


by Tom Nguyen

After a hiatus in 2017, Viet Film Festival presented by the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) is back this year! The 10th edition from October 12-14, 2018, at AMC Orange 30, will screen 30 films (13 features and 17 short films) from Vietnam, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Czech Republic, Germany, and Malaysia. In this era of #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite, the film festival is proud that more than 50% of the films were either directed or produced by women.

The festival opens with Cao Thuy Nhi’s Summer in Closed Eyes (Nhắm Mắt Thấy Mùa Hè), a cross-cultural love story set in Hokkaido, Japan, that faced many challenges while being made, but has gone onto to become a critical and commercial success in Asia. The young Vietnamese and Japanese cast & crew will be in attendance to kick off the festival!

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Viet Film Fest 2016: My Top Picks

12465905_912262538893611_2513417017120711810_oby Tom Nguyen

Viet Film Fest (VFF) returns April 14-17 at a new larger venue AMC 30 Orange this year. The annual festival spotlighting films of Vietnamese national and global diasporic filmmakers is organized by Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) and this year features an eclectic collection of 25 films (12 features and 13 shorts) from countries such as Vietnam, Australia, Canada, France, Norway, and the United States.

The festival will spotlight 2 important issues in the Vietnamese community: attitudes towards LGBTQ and the health and safety of nail salon workers. Also, Youth-In-Motion, VAALA’s film workshop that inspires youth to find their voices through filmmaking, will debut their films that focus on social justice issues in the community.

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VAALA presents Viet Film Fest 2015: My Top 10 Picks!

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by Tom Nguyen

2015 is an important year for the Vietnamese diaspora, the largest of which is here in Southern California’s Little Saigon, Orange County. The end of April marks the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and it’s personal to me because my family and I were among the first wave of post-Vietnam War refugees that would eventually number up to 2 million who have fled overseas by any means necessary.

April 16-19, the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) will present the Viet Film Fest at Ultraluxe Cinemas in Anaheim, near Disneyland. VAALA started the festival in 2003, then known as the Vietnamese International Film Festival (VIFF) and screened at UCI and UCLA campuses, with support from Vietnamese student groups. The festival started biennially every 2 years and I’m not sure if that was due to funding, lack of enough Vietnamese cinema to feature, or a combination of both, but fast forward to 2014 and a lot had changed! Continue Reading →