VAALA partners with The OC Public Libraries for a special screening event

February 7, 2023 – Orange County, CA –  The Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) is excited to announce a special film screening event in partnership with The OC Public Libraries. Viet Film Fest’s Artistic Director, Eric Nong, will host a curated selection of short films, all of which were previously screened during various festival years. The selected films include works from notable directors such as Terry Ngo, Quyen Nguyen-Le, Jamie Train, Taylor Jordan, and Kady Le. There will also be a special filmmakers talk with some of the directors after the screening. The screening will kick off the “Little Saigon Stories”, a community event spanning from March to June as a part of a collection from the OC Stories series. VAALA’s film screening event will take place on March 4th, 2023 at 2pm in the Garden Grove Main Library. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

The curated films and their descriptions will be:

  • Granny Boot Camp (2022; VFF 2022; dir. Terry Ngo)
    • Everyday a grandma reads stories involving Asian Hate. She fears leaving the house until she receives some encouragement and help from her grandchildren.
  • Savory (2021; VFF 2021; dir. Taylor Jordan)
    • While snowed in at her grandmother’s house, a girl reflects on her relationship with her grandmother shortly after her passing through a dish she rediscovers.
  • Iris (2022; VFF 2022; dir. Jamie Tran)
    • A Vietnamese-American teenager must choose between pursuing her dreams and honoring the cultural traditions of her strict father until she learns something about her mother’s past.
  • The Morning Passing on El Cajón Boulevard (2019; VFF 2021; dir. Quyen Nguyen-Le)
    • The Morning Passing on El Cajón Boulevard follows Julie – a young and ambitious second generation Vietnamese American funeral director working in City Heights, known as the refugee neighborhood of San Diego, California. Julie is used to managing funerals every week, but after the unexpected passing of her own father, Julie seeks help from Đồ Thái Uyên, a San Diego legend who has managed funerals (and taxes) for southeast asian families since the 1980s. A brief and intimate glimpse into the ways refugee families mourn the loss of loved ones far from their homelands.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter (2018; VFF 2018; dir. Kady Le)
    • On Lunar New Year, a Vietnamese American transgender woman goes behind her mother’s back to wear her first áo dài (a traditional Vietnamese silk dress) in hopes of convincing her immigrant mother that she is capable of being her daughter.
Granny Boot Camp, Directed by Terry Ngo


The Morning Passing on El Cajón Boulevard, Directed by Quyen Nguyen-Le

“Viet Film Fest (VFF) has always been the cultural hub for Vietnamese stories in film and we are incredibly proud of sharing our culture’s stories to the community for the last twenty years of the festival’s existence. This partnership with The OC Public Libraries demonstrates the message that VAALA and VFF has been expressing since its inception – that Vietnamese American stories should be celebrated, especially in a place home to the largest Vietnamese population outside Vietnam itself.” – Eric Nong, Artist Director of Viet Film Fest

OC Stories is a collection created by The OC Public Libraries to celebrate the cultural diversity of the area. OC Stories will present “Little Saigon Stories”, a project focusing on stories from Orange County’s Little Saigon and its Vietnamese American community. From March 4th to June 10, there will be a series of special programming and events celebrating Vietnamese American history and culture.

“In the 1970s and 1980s, Westminster became home to a large number of Vietnamese refugees who revitalized the area by establishing new businesses and services, creating the Little Saigon neighborhood. Little Saigon continues to thrive as a place to live and work, and as a cultural focal point and symbol of community. Little Saigon Stories seeks to preserve the experiences of Orange County’s Vietnamese-American community.” – “The Orange County Public Libraries – Little Saigon Stories

Special programs for the “Little Saigon Stories” include:

  • March 4th – Film screening with curated selection of short films in partnership with VAALA and hosted by Viet Film Fest’s, Eric Nong. Located at Garden Grove Main Library at 2pm.
  • March 18th – Lecture on the Vietnamese American Experience with speaker Tram Le. Located at the Fountain Valley Library at 2 pm.
  • April 8th – Lecture from Club O’ Noodles, the first Vietnamese American theater troupe, with speaker Tram Le. Located at Garden Grove Main Library at 2 pm.
  • April 22 – Film screening of Journey from the Fall. Located at Westminster Library at 2 pm.
  • May 6 – Author Talk with Carolyn Huynh, The Fortunes of Jade Women. Located at Westminster Library at 2 pm.
  • May 27 – Author Talk with Lan Cao & Harlan Van Cao, Family in Six Tones. Located at Fountain Valley Library at 2 pm.
  • June 10 – Film Screening of Painted Nails, a documentary film on the health safety of manicurists and the nail industry. Located at Fountain Valley Library at 2pm.

Film Screening with a Curated Selection of Short Film with a Special Filmmakers Talk afterwards,  in partnership with VAALA

Saturday, March 4th, 2023 from 2pm- 4pm
Garden Grove Main Library, 11200 Stanford Ave. Garden Grove, CA 92840
More information at


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 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.


Corey Linh
VAALA Communication Specialist