In a genre underrepresented of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ characters, Van B. Nguyen’s short film, All I Ever Wanted, presents a groundbreaking narrative. What if a rom-com can be lead by Asian-American actresses telling a queer-centered story? We interviewed Van B. Nguyen, a queer woman herself, on her inspiration of the film and it’s future impact on the genre and LGBTQ+ community.
ALL I EVER WANTED was a delight to watch in its queering of the rom-com genre. What inspired you to make this short film?
Thank you. I loved rom-coms growing up in the 90s and it was my education on love. No shade to those films, but the problem was all those great films sold me an image that was not true to who I am. So I was inspired to make this because it’s a film I wish I had seen growing up. I wanted to make a queer film about joy and love centering on Asian-American characters. I wanted to convey that feeling of that moment when something just clicks when you kiss the right person. When I finally had that first right kiss… everything came together for me and my heart was filled with joy. Which quite honestly gave me the happily ever after I was looking for within myself. So I hope this film inspires hope, love, and joy for others.
How do you understand the characters’ Vietnamese-American identities to intersect with their gender and sexuality?
I am a queer Vietnamese-American and all of those feelings and emotions both the characters embodied were things I felt and identified with.
What would you like audiences to take away from this film?
Don’t let society (yes, even films) box you into the teachings that the fairytale ending is only this and that because you may miss what’s right in front of you. Just be open, face yourself, love yourself, and accept yourself. We especially just want people to walk away with a warmed heart full of joy.
How can people be better allies to LGBTQ+ youth?
Affirm who they are and let them know they’re loved and in a safe space. Educate yourself. Be mindful. Show support whether it’s listening, promoting representation, or whatever else they need.
Watch All I Ever Wanted
in-person Friday October 7th at 10 am, 12pm or online as a part of our Pulling Through
free community screening exploring seven other related short films.
Virtual options are available for purchase starting October 6th as a part of our Fitting In
screening. Get your pre-orders today!