October 3rd, 2023 – Santa Ana, CA – The Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) is proud to officially kick off Viet Film Fest (VFF), bringing together filmmakers and community members to celebrate the largest Vietnamese film festival in the diaspora. The 20th anniversary of Viet Film Fest promises an exciting lineup of films, panels, and cultural events that will captivate audiences virtually from September 30th to October 15th, and in-person at The Frida Cinema in Downtown Santa Ana from Friday, October 6th & Saturday, October 7th.
Event Highlights include:
- Opening Night Screening and Family Day Event of The Spectacular Adventure of Little Prodigy (Trạng Tí) on October 6th at 7 pm – Bring the whole family to watch this beautiful reinterpretation of a beloved Vietnamese folktale-turned-comic series about a young Vietnamese prodigy. As part of the Community Day events, this screening is free for all seniors over 65 years old. General admission tickets will be $18, and discounted tickets at $16 are applied to high school students with a student ID. Join us an hour before the showing for cultural activities such as Ðông Hồ coloring and games with 7 Leaves Cafe giveaways of drinks and aprons; cultural attire is encouraged!
- Closing Night Screening and Southern California Premiere of The Accidental Getaway Driver, directed by Sing J. Lee on October 7th at 7 pm – Based on a true story of an incident which captivated not only the local Vietnamese community but also mainstream media, the film now sets its sights on the Viet Film Fest big screen! There will be a pre-showing wine tasting with BONDLE Wines from 3pm-7pm. General admission tickets will be $18, and discounted tickets at $16 are applied to high school students with a student ID as well as seniors (65+).
- “Storms and Silver Linings”, a Curated Short Film Set for High School Students – In this free screening intended for high school students (but is suitable for older viewers, too), each of these six films asks questions of perseverance in times of personal or communal strife or displacement. There will be free screenings for local Orange County high schools to see the set in-person at Viet Film Fest! General public in-person screenings will be October 6th at 12:30pm and available virtually starting September 30th.
- Free Screening Event Exclusive for Santa Ana Residents on Friday, October 6th at 4 pm – An event to extend our gratitude to the community hosting the festival, residents of Santa Ana will be able to see the curated short film sets “All You Need is Love”and “Belonging/Unbelonging” at no cost. Valid proof of residency must be presented at the box office.
- Diverse Feature Film Selection – Viet Film Fest is proud to present a vast selection of Vietnamese and Vietnamese diaspora films that promise to take audiences on an unforgettable cinematic journey. From spine-tingling horror just in time for the Halloween season with Muoi: The Curse Returns(Mười: Lời nguyền trở lại), to a heart-wrenching tale of a mother and daughter’s unwavering quest for reunion in the world premiere of Angels (Mẹ ơi, Bướm đây!), this year’s festival lineup is a testament to the power of storytelling.
- Viet Film Fest Exclusively Curated Short Film Set – Under Eric Nong, VFF’s Artistic Director, the festival will showcase six short film sets curated around a compelling theme. From short film sets like “Sharing Dreams in Pairs” that explore friendships in different forms, to the “On The Edge” film set, which confront the difficulties of characters who are pushed to society’s margins, the festival’s diverse selection of films promises to engage with audiences from all walks of life.
- A Virtual Component of Viet Film Fest – Now watch Viet Film Fest from the comfort of your own home! Tickets can be purchased via https://watch.eventive.org/vff2023, which houses the virtual Viet Film Fest catalog. Certain short film sets have a US and international version. Once the virtual tickets have been purchased, attendees will have one week to start watching the movies and 72 hours to finish the film once the “play” button has been pressed. Virtual exclusive films include For Tomorrow, La Cosecha, Intersections pilot episode, Our Blossom, and the short film sets “On the Edge” and “Sharing Dreams in Pairs”.
- Filmmaker’s Talk – Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the visionary minds behind the films through post-screening Q&A sessions and general film discussions. A special film panel for Refuge After War, directed by journalist Thanh Tan,will highlight both the Vietnamese American and Afghan American refugee experiences, as the film examines the events of the fall of Saigon and Kabul.
- Trống Đồng Awards Reception at Saigon Grand Center on October 7th, from 9:30pm-12:00am – The festival will culminate in a memorable closing night ceremony, where outstanding films and filmmakers will be honored with prestigious awards, recognizing their contributions to Vietnamese cinema. Tickets for the award ceremony are priced at $50 featuring catering from Kei Concepts: Vox Kitchen and VFF Curated Signature Drinks from Cir Lounge. For information about this year’s nominees, please visit www.vietfilmfest.com/awards/.
“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Viet Film Fest in 2023, we are thrilled to kick off an event that embodies the essence of Vietnamese cinema and culture,” said Ysa Le, Executive Director of Viet Film Fest. “This milestone year’s lineup promises a diverse and captivating cinematic journey that will resonate with audiences of all backgrounds. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating the art of storytelling and the boundless creativity of Vietnamese filmmakers.”
How to Attend and Ticket Information: You can attend the Viet Film Fest by purchasing tickets on the festival’s official website, www.vietfilmfest.com. General admission tickets (special events screenings excluded) are priced at $16, with discounts offered to seniors (65+) and high school students with an ID at $14. Additionally, the festival offers a 5-Ticket Pass for $70 and a Festival Pass for $250, providing all-access admission to all screenings, both in-person and virtual, as well as special events such as Opening Night, Closing Night, and the Award Reception. (Geo-location restrictions (“geofences”) for some film sets may apply.)
For the latest information on ticket information, festival lineup, and events, please visit our website at vietfilmfest.com and follow us at @vietfilmfest on Facebook and Instagram.
Viet Film Fest 2023 Contact:
Public Relations Manager
Founded in 1991 by Vietnamese American journalists, artists and community members to fill a void and provide a space for artists to express themselves as a newly resettled immigrant community, the mission of the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) is to connect and enrich communities through Vietnamese arts and culture. Celebrating its 30th year of service, VAALA collaborates with diverse community partners to organize community-centered artistic cultural events, including art exhibitions, book signings, music recitals, plays and its annual Viet Film Fest and Gallery Beyond Walls programming. More information about VAALA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
About Viet Film Fest
Viet Film Fest was created in 2003 by the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA), becoming its largest program. As the largest international diasporic Vietnamese film festival of its kind in the world, Viet Film Fest showcases the best creative work by and about Vietnamese people. Through the universal language of film, Viet Film Fest brings together multiple perspectives to expand the scope and horizons of Vietnamese cinema. For nearly two decades, the festival has attracted thousands of national and international attention for its stunning showcase of shorts and features submitted from all over the world. As the hub of the Vietnamese movie industry, the festival hosts networking opportunities with prominent directors, media experts, and producers.