ORANGE, CA – The Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) is proud to announce that the Viet Film Fest 2019 will be kicking-off its 3-day event with the charming, blockbuster, romantic comedy My Mr. Wife, directed by Charlie Nguyen (The Rebel), on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm at AMC Orange 30. The film is a timely Vietnamese story and includes a talented ensemble cast, including Thái Hoà, one of the most versatile actors in Vietnam. The film will be immediately followed by an Opening Night Reception at Saddle Ranch Chop House in the same plaza.

Among the 67 films submitted, 12 features and 30 short films were selected for the official line-up. The countries of production include Canada, France, Germany, Portugal, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and the U.S. The selections offer various genres, such as comedy, thriller, horror, and drama. All non-English films will have English subtitles.

Garnering over 25 international awards, Song Lang, directed by New York-based filmmaker Leon Le, takes center stage on Saturday night of the festival. Song Lang showcases director Le’s vivid imagination as a nuanced filmmaker who has keen sensibilities, enabling him to captivate an audience with a haunting story, exquisite music, and mesmerizing visuals. The night will continue on at the Awards Reception at the gorgeous Water Grill restaurant in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa. The winners of the Best Feature, Best Short, Best Actress, and Best Actor are selected by a jury board of three award-winning members: actress Đỗ Thị Hải Yến (The Quiet American) and filmmakers Tony Bui (Three Seasons) and Ham Tran (Journey from the Fall).

Documentaries play an important part in this edition of the Viet Film Fest. Seadrift, directed by Tim Tsai, recounts an incident that occurred 40 years ago. What began as a dispute over fishing territory erupted into violence, KKK intimidation, and other hostilities against Vietnamese refugees along the Gulf Coast. The screening of Seadrift is followed by a panel discussion to examine how conditions that existed 40 years ago still resonate today.

A compelling feature film, The Happiness of Mother, directed by Huynh Dong, will also be the focus of a panel discussion. The film depicts a widow with an autistic son and her quest to protect him as he enters the world. After the showing, there will be a panel of experts discussing autism within the Vietnamese American community.

The retrospective showcase will be the feature film Heaven and Earth, which is part of director Oliver Stone’s trilogy on the Vietnam War based on two autobiographies by Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese American woman who struggles to build a new life. Released in 1993, this landmark film includes Hiep Thi Le, one of the first Vietnamese American lead actors in a Hollywood production. The showing will be followed by a discussion with the author and humanitarian.

Viet Film Fest 2019 continues to offer free screenings to students with I.D. and senior citizens over 60. These free screenings will take place on Friday, October 11th at 11:00 am. The12-week-long Youth in Motion Filmmaking Workshop to encourage a new generation of filmmakers is currently in its 5th year. The participants of this workshop will showcase their short films at Viet Film Fest on Saturday, October 12th at 11:00am.

The Immortal, a suspenseful, action-packed film directed by Victor Vu (Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass), will wrap up the festival. Known for his epic sagas, Vu again shows his versatility in crafting an ambitious narrative that spans three centuries. In addition to the accomplished cast, this film seamlessly combines fantasy and realism with impressive special effects and the noteworthy cinematography captures the stunningly beautiful Vietnamese countryside. The Audience Choice Awards for Best Feature and Best Short Film will be announced at the Closing Night after all the votes are collected.

For tickets and screening schedules, please visit



When: October 11-13, 2019

Where: AMC 30 Orange

20 City Blvd. West, Suite E, Orange, CA 92868




Thuy-Van Nguyen, Festival Director –

Michelle Do, Festival Associate Director –

Categories: Festival News


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