VAALA teams up with the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to feature the acclaimed Viet Film Fest feature film, Song Lang, and short film, SummerWinterSummer, for The Southeast x East (SEE) Asian Film Festival

April 27, 2023 – Costa Mesa, California  – The Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) is excited to announce its partnership with the Segerstrom Center for Arts for a  film screening event on May 13th at The Southeast x East (SEE) Asian Film Festival. This event will take place at 5 pm in the Samueli Theater.

As a part of this collaboration, the film screening event will feature the Viet Film Fest 2019 “Best Feature Film” award-winning movie, Song Lang, along with Viet Film Fest 2021 “Best Short” nominee, SummerWinterSummer. The festival will be held as part of Segerstrom Center for the Art’s May events in celebration of AAPI Heritage month. As a bonus aspect of the event, director and writer of SummerWinterSummer, Thy Tran will be in attendance with a special talk before both the screening of films.

“We are thrilled to partner with the acclaimed Segerstrom Center for the Arts as a part of their AAPI Heritage Month celebration!” Said Ysa Le, Executive Director of VAALA. “Our joint efforts will bring together film enthusiasts and community members for a memorable and engaging experience. We look forward to welcoming our guest and sharing our passion for Vietnamese cinema”

Film Still from Song Lang, Directed by Leon Le

About Song Lang – It’s the 1980s  in Saigon. Linh Phung is the star of a traveling opera troupe deep in debt to a local loan shark. Dung Thunderbolt is the enforcer come to collect. After an unlikely friendship forms between the two, Linh Phung learns how a lived life is necessary for art and Dung follows art back to a life worth living.

About Leon Le, Director of Song LangLeon Le was born in Vietnam and moved to the United States at the age of 13. For almost 20 years, he worked as a professional dancer, singer, and actor, performing in musicals before returning to Vietnam to star in television and film. He launched his writing and directing career with two short films, Dawn (2012) and Talking to My Mother (2015), which explored race and sexual orientation from uniquely Asian perspectives. Le’s feature film debut, Song Lang (2018), was met with even greater critical acclaim. His second feature film, “Ky Nam Inn,” a love story set amid the social unrest of communist Vietnam after the war, is now in pre-production.

Film Poster from SummerWinterSummer, Directed by Thy Tran

About SummerWinterSummer – Struggling to deal with Martin’s disappearance, Duy resorts to anonymous hook-ups to escape the emptiness. He spends sleepless nights wandering around the city meeting strangers online hoping to find love, form a connection – anything to help him forget Martin. But the nightly ventures take Duy to darker places than he could ever imagine.

About Thy Tran, Director of SummerWinterSumerAs a Vietnamese immigrant and filmmaker in the US, Thy is drawn to the politics of social and sexual identity. With film, he wishes to explore and confront the issues therein. He sees film as not just entertainment but a reflection of humanity and who we are as a society. In 2020, Thy debuted his first short film, SummerWinterSummer, as a writer and director. SWS is also nominated as Best Short at the Viet Film Fest in 2021. Thy is currently developing the short into a feature film.


Special Film Screening Event of Song Lang and SummerWinterSummer, in partnership with Segerstrom Center for the Arts for The Southeast x East (SEE) Asian Film Festival. 

Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 5pm – The event will kick off with a filmmakers talk with director, Thy Tran. Subsequently, his short film, SummerWinterSummer, will commence the screening and will conclude with a special showing of the feature film, Song Lang.

Celebrate with VAALA at Argyros Plaza at 7 pm with live music, dance performances, and local food vendors!

Located at Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

More information here:


About VAALA:

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.

About Segerstrom Center for the Arts:

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is one of the nation’s most respected multi-disciplinary cultural institutions. It is Orange County’s largest non-profit arts organization. The Center remains committed to supporting artistic excellence and offering unsurpassed experiences to engage the community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring arts-based education and community engagement programs.

For media inquires or more information, please contact Corey Linh, VAALA’s Communication Specialist, at