In honor of Women’s History Month we bring back our May 2021 conversation between four amazing Vietnamese-American Women in Film. Their work has made an impact. Today we celebrate.
Award winning humanitarian, author and filmmaker Le Ly Hayslip, Writer Thuc Doan Nguyen, Sundance alum and director Marion Hill and Documentarian Adele Pham discuss their work and their lives as Vietnamese-diaspora women.
Le Ly Hayslip is a Vietnamese-American writer, memoirist and humanitarian. Through her foundations, she has worked to rebuild cultural bridges between Vietnam and America following the Vietnam War. Le Ly is best known for her book that became a major motion picture called “Heaven & Earth”, directed by Oliver Stone as part of his trilogy with “Platoon” and “Born on The 4th of July”.
Adele Free Pham is an activist and filmmaker whose work has appeared in over 20 film festivals, on HBO, PBS, and The Smithsonian. Her feature documentary called “Nailed It”, about the genesis and culture of the Vietnamese nail industry, premiered on PBS in May 2019 and is the highest streamed film of the documentary series “America Reframed”. Adele is also a Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow. She is launching a VR Nail Salon at the end of May, which you will be able to access through NailSalonXR.com.
Marion Hill (they/she) is a New Orleans based director with roots in Vietnam, England and France, whose direction of the camera is devoted to the nuances of femme power, queer sensibility, and radical sensuality across cultures. With deep love for music, visual storytelling and cultural fusion, Marion has specialized in grassroots and small-scale production, collaborating with folks around the world to deliver authentic cinematic stories in all forms. Marion’s short films Bird of Prey (2016) and Goddess House (2018) played at festivals throughout the world and those films now have over 4 million views online. Marion’s first feature, “Ma Belle, My Beauty”, is a love story that takes queer characters from New Orleans to the South of France in a polyamorous whirlwind. They premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and won the audience award for best film in the NEXT category.
Moderator: Thuc Doan Nguyen was born in Vietnam and grew up in The American South. She’s lived in London, New York City and Los Angeles, and has an Irish as well as an American passport. She writes screenplays centering Women of Color. She founded The Bitch List of feminist screenplays and #StartWith8Hollywood, a free mentoring program for Women of Color with Hollywood’s A-listers. Thuc is a contributing writer to outlets like The Daily Beast, VICE, Refinery29 and others and has done punch up work for Paramount Pictures. She would always rather be in the woods or by a quiet oceanside with her dogs.