OPERATION BABYLIFT to Screen at the St. Louis International Film Festival


Dallas, TX – On Saturday, November 21st, Dallas based non-profit ATG Against the Grain Productions is honored to present Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at its Missouri premiere during the 18th Annual St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF). The award-winning documentary described as “Amazing…compelling and hard hitting,” by Bolsavik.com screens at 5:00 p.m. at the Landmark Tivoli Theatre located at 6350 Delmar Blvd. in St. Louis, Missouri. Filmmaker Tammy Nguyen Lee, as well as several members of the cast and crew, will be in attendance for the Q&A.

Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam tells the significant, yet untold story of the $2 million U.S. initiative that airlifted over 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of a war-torn country from the impending threat of the Communist regime. These adoptees grew up facing unique challenges in America, including prejudice overshadowed by a controversial war and cultural identity crisis. Featuring compelling and insightful interviews of the volunteers, parents and organizations directly involved, the documentary takes a contemporary look at Operation Babylift and its relevance to international adoption today.

Chris Clark, Artistic Director for St. Louis International Film Festival, says, “The multitude of St. Louis connections to this wonderful and poignant film make it a natural fit with this year’s SLIFF programming. There was no way we would have not shown Operation Babylift in the festival!”

Several interviewees featured in the film are St. Louis residents and will be present at the screening.  Adoptee Jim Zimmerly, a survivor of the C5-A Galaxy crash says, “I feel so privileged to be part of this project and a piece of history, and to be able to present the story of all the Vietnamese adoptees to my hometown of St. Louis is really special.” Adoptee Dan Bischoff, also a crash survivor who is returning from teaching in Rwanda says, “I’m very excited to be part of this project because I believe any education to this often over-looked aspect of the Vietnam War is great. I sometimes struggle finding the right words to describe the events of my adoption, and media like this will only assist that and bring greater understanding across a wider audience.”

Producer/Director Tammy Nguyen Lee, a MFA graduate from UCLA’s Producers Program, adds, “This has been a very full and exciting season of festival screenings for us. We’re honored to be included in SLIFF’s great line-up of films. It’s so symbolic and appropriate to end the year in St. Louis, where there are so many ties to Operation Babylift.”

Tammy Nguyen Lee is a first generation Vietnamese American who fled Saigon as refugees with her mother more than 30 years ago. Lee founded ATG Against the Grain Productions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, to promote Asian American cultural awareness through compelling media projects, while also raising funds for international orphanages. This is her feature documentary directorial debut. For more information please visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com. Ticket and screening information is available at www.cinemastlouis.org.

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