ARTIST BIOS

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Cuong Ngo is a Vietnamese film director, earning a BFA-Honours in Performing Arts for Theatre & Film in his native country (2002) before pursuing his second degree in Film Production (BFA-Honours) at York University in Toronto, Canada, with specializations in Directing, Screenwriting & Editing (2009). Ngo has won many awards and nomination for Best Director at international film festivals around the world and Next Generation Award for Vietnamese Innovation Visionary Award in Toronto, 2012. Ngo has directed several short films, television commercials, documentaries, music videos and feature films including THE HITCHHIKER PROJECT (2008) and THE GOLDEN PIN (2009), which won Best Canadian Short at Toronto Inside Out Film & Video Festival before touring at over 50 international film festivals. PEARLS OF THE FAR EAST (2011) is Ngo’s feature film debut as director, producer, and co-editor. Ngo currently shares his time between the United States, Canada, and Việt Nam.

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Đỗ Quốc Trung, who lives in Việt Nam, graduated from Hanoi Academy of Theatre & Cinema in June 2012. Since his films are made for himself, there’re always strong personal imprints in his work. In 2012, Trung starred in the teen film FOR JUNE.

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Duc Nguyen previously directed BOLINAO 52, the documentary about the Vietnamese boat people ship stranded in the Pacific Ocean in 1988. Those aboard fought their thirst and hunger. When a US Navy ship reportedly refused to rescue them, the boat people starved, with some resorting to cannibalism. Only 52 out of the 110 boat people survived the tragedy and were rescued by Filipino fishermen who brought them to the Philippine island of Bolinao. For this film Nguyen received two regional Emmy Awards, for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary and Outstanding Music Composition.

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Hong-An Truong is an artist and writer based in New York and North Carolina. Her writing on Yvonne Rainer and Deborah Hay has been published in ‘Contemporary Theater Review’ and is included in the anthology ‘Performa 09: Back to Futurism,’ edited by Roselee Goldberg. Other writing has appeared in ‘Asia-Pacific Journal,’ ‘Netwerk: Center for Contemporary Art,’ ‘Southern Exposure Journal of Politics and Culture,’ and the exhibition catalog for Dinh Q. Le at the Contemporary Art Center of South Australia. Recent experimental collaborations include The Gramsci Project with students at Laguardia Community College, and Acting the Words is Enacting the Worlds with Huong Ngo and participants at EFA Project Space. Her video, photography, and performance-based work has also been shown at the International Center for Photography, FLUX Factory, Art in General, Parson’s Aronson Gallery, BRIC Rotunda Gallery, New York; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Monte Vista Projects, and the Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; PAVILION, Bucharest; and DobaeBacsa Gallery, Seoul, among others. Truong received her MFA at the University of California, Irvine and was a studio art fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program. She is an Asst. Professor in the Art Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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Born and raised in Saigon, Việt Nam, Leon Le moved to the U.S. at age 13. An accomplished professional dancer, singer, and actor, he has worked in many capacities—including dinner theater, regional theaters, national tours, Broadway. He has also appeared in numerous TV Series, Films, and Commercials in U.S. and Việt Nam. As a fashion photographer and filmmaker, he has a passion for telling stories and expressing his artistic view through images. DAWN marks Leon’s second short film. Currently he’s working on this third short film, THE LETTER, and writing his first feature film. Leon splits his time between New York, Los Angeles, and Việt Nam.

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Inspired by a particular site, historical incident, or political issue, Lin + Lam (Lana Lin and H. Lan Thao Lam) collect research in the form of interviews, archival materials, and found objects. Their collaboration brings together their backgrounds in architecture, photography, sculpture, installation and time-based media. Their work has been exhibited at international venues including the Museum of Modern Art, New Museum, The Kitchen, and the Queens Museum, New York, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Arko Arts Center (Korean Arts Council,) Seoul, the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Germany, and the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, China. Their work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts, among others. Lin received her MFA from Bard College. She is currently faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the Media, Culture, and Communication doctoral program at NYU. Lam received her MFA from CalArts, and is faculty at Goddard College, MFA-IA program. Lin + Lam are 2009 -10 Vera List Center for Art and Politics Fellows.

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Mark Tran is a Vietnamese-American filmmaker born and raised in California, as the youngest of nine children. He is the writer and director of ALL ABOUT DAD, a heart-warming comedy about an “Old World” father and his “New World” kids. Tran has been making films since he was teenager, and has directed over thirty short films, including the award-winning THE FISHERMAN’S TROUBLED ODYSSEY, about a father’s immigration from Vietnam, and fan-favorite “Binary City,” a neo-noir gangster drama. At 22, he directed ALL ABOUT DAD, shot on a shoe-string budget. It went on to win the Emerging Filmmaker Award at San Diego Asian Film Festival, Best First Film at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and the Audience Award at Cinequest Film Festival. Additionally, Asia Pacific Arts announced ALL ABOUT DAD on their list of “Top Ten Narrative Features by Asian American Directors in 2009.”

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Nghiêm Quỳnh Trang, a graduate from the Institute of International Relations in Hà Nội, was born in Việt Nam in 1983.

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Nguyễn Đình Anh, who lives in Việt Nam, made his debut drama short film UNCLE & SON in 2012, after studying architecture but nurturing a passion for cinema.

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Nguyễn Trinh Thi is a Hanoi-based independent filmmaker and video artist. Her diverse practice has consistently investigated the role of memory in the necessary unveiling of hidden, displaced or misinterpreted histories; and examined the position of artists in the Vietnamese society. She is notably the founder and director of the Hanoi DocLab, a training center for documentary and independent, experimental films established at the Goethe-Institute. She is also the most notable video artist on Viêt Nam’s contemporary art scene. She plays an important role the country’s cinema; with works projected in international festivals and exhibitions. After studying journalism and photography at the University of Iowa; and international studies and ethnographic film at University of California, San Diego, she decided to return to Việt Nam to pursue a career as an independent filmmaker at a time when this concept was still foreign and filmmaking was very difficult due to censorship. Currently, she is an ‘Asian Public Intellectual’ Fellow (2011-2012), undertaking research on documentary and experimental films in Japan and Thailand. Her work has been exhibited in film festivals and exhibitions across Asia, Europe and the U.S. Trinh Thi is interested in History, the Truth, in taboo subjects. She gives voice to marginalized people in society, to those who have suffered trauma in the past. She is a filmmaker who dares to question the country’s history, one that differs from the reconstruction produced by propaganda. Trinh Thi leads searches not only for reality, but is also for images. In her quest, she is constantly experimenting with new structures, formal tests on her creative path.

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Phương Thảo Trần studied in Hanoi before moving to France where she received her master’s degree in documentary filmmaking from the University of Poitiers in 2004. She then debuted with the documentary Rêves d’ouvrières, which received the Yolande et Pierre Perrault Prix at Cinéma du réel in Paris in 2007. She initially studied foreign trade and interpretation in Hanoi, but in 2001 she moved to France to fulfill her ambition of becoming a professional filmmaker. Today she lives and works in Hanoi.

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Swann Dubus, born in 1977 in France, studied literature and cinema at Paris III University and debuted as a director in 2000 with the documentary 1977-1989, which was followed by the short Lettre à L. et à elles toutes and the feature-length L. VILLE, which was presented at Cinéma du réel in Paris in 2007. He has also collaborated as director of photography for the film LA GOUTTE D’EAU (2005) by Carole Sionnet. He lives and works in Hanoi.

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A second-generation Vietnamese American, Tony Nguyen comes to documentary filmmaking from over ten years of service in the nonprofit sector where he directed Asian American community programs in Washington D.C. and Oakland, CA. His core values of justice, truth, community, and courage have inspired him to produce films that explore the stories of unsung heroes in our everyday world. He is the director of THE MAYOR OF CHINATOWN, a touching eight-minute portrait of a real estate agent who dedicates his life to serving his community in Oakland, CA. ENFORCING THE SILENCE is his first feature-length film.

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Trần Anh Hùng is perhaps the most globally acclaimed film director and screenwriter of Vietnamese descent. Born in 1962 in Đà Nẵng, twelve-year-old Trần emigrated with his parents to Paris at the close of the American war. He has since directed three highly honored films meditating upon life in Việt Nam. His unforgettable 1993 debut, THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA, earned him an Oscar nomination and two top prizes at Cannes. His 1995 film CYCLO won the top prize at the Venice International Film Festival, the Gran Prix. And his 2000 film THE VERTICAL RAY OF THE SUN masterfully concluded what some consider his “Việt Nam trilogy.” Trần was already a fan of Murakami’s fiction when he sought permission to adapt NORWEGIAN WOOD. Trần says, “What I like about the book is the fact that it’s about young people, about love, about lust, about mourning, and about sorrow … There is a sense of melancholy, which you can feel from beginning to end.”

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Trần Dũng Thanh Huy graduated from Movie and Stage University of HCMC as a valedictorian. In 2011, Thanh Huy was rewarded the Golden Kite for the short film 16:30 and the Best Director for the short film ĐƯỜNG BI in The 48 Hour Film Project Vietnam.

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Trần Ngọc Sáng, from Việt Nam, has made four films—GO PLAYING WITH ICE (2011), MARRY A HILL (2009), HA DO (2008), and I WANT TO GO HOME (2007).

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Việt Lê is an artist, academic, creative writer, and curator. His work has been published in ‘Crab Orchard Review,’ ‘Fuse,’ ‘Amerasia Journal,’ ‘Asia Art Archive,’ ‘Newsweek Asia,’ and the anthologies ‘Writing from the Perfume River,’ ‘Strange Cargo,’ ‘The Spaces Between Us,’ ‘Blue Arc,’ ‘Love, West Hollywood,’ among others. Lê’s artwork has been featured at The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; DoBaeBacSa Gallery, Seoul, Korea; Cape Museum of Fine Arts, MA, USA; 1a Space, Hong Kong; among other venues. His writing has been translated into German, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Vietnamese, and Khmer. Lê has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, William Joiner Center, Fine Arts Work Center, Center for Khmer Studies, and PEN Center USA. Lê curated Miss Saigon with the Wind (Highways, Santa Monica) and Charlie Don’t Surf! (Centre A, Vancouver, BC); and co-curated humor us (Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, LA, CA), and transPOP: Korea Việt Nam Remix (Seoul, Sài Gòn, Irvine, San Francisco). He has co-edited special issues of ‘BOL Journal’ (Việt Nam and Us, 2008) and ‘Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service Learning, and Community Literacy’ (2008). Lê received his MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he has also taught Studio Art and Visual Culture courses. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and is currently an assistant professor at California College of the Arts.

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