Documentary Wins the Coveted VIFF Audience Choice Award
DALLAS, TX, April 15, 2009 – On Friday, April 3, 2009 ATG Against the Grain Productions premiered Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at the Vietnamese International Film Festival (VIFF) in Santa Ana, California to a packed theatre at the Bowers Museum. The feature documentary, described as “amazing…compelling and hard hitting” by Bolsavik.com, details the 1975 United States airlift of over 2,500 Vietnamese orphans during the tumultuous time leading up to the Fall of Saigon. The film was recently given the coveted Audience Choice Award over other highly regarded films.
Producer/Director Tammy Nguyen Lee says: “Being invited to join the growing Vietnamese American artist community and have our world premiere at VIFF was a huge honor. With the adoptees and Babylift volunteers in attendance, it was truly a special and unique evening. We are so grateful for the warm reception we received at VIFF and even more thrilled to receive the Audience Choice Award. It means a lot to all of us, especially screening among a group of so many wonderful films, and knowing that this was the film that touched peoples’ hearts.”
Several cast members were delighted with the success of the premiere. Bert Ballard, an adoptee who flew in from Waterloo, Ontario, says, “I am very excited that Ms. Lee’s film was selected for the VIFF Audience Choice Award. This selection represents the importance of Operation Babylift and the experiences of adopted Vietnamese persons to the Vietnamese American community. I look forward to future opportunities where this film can open up dialogue and share with others the experiences of adopted persons of Operation Babylift.”
Lieutenant Commander and adoptee Mark Slavik attended the screening from Seattle, Washington and said, “Watching this documentary brought back emotions and memories of a time that I almost forgot. Growing up I just didn’t have a good understanding or maturity to acknowledge my past. Again, this documentary… really helped me to reconnect with my past. This is a truly positive experience for me and it is a great honor to be a part of this history.”
Los Angeles based adoptee and cast member DC Wolfe adds, “It is wonderful to know that there is still an interest in real stories that present all aspects of life–struggles, joy, heartache and support. Since being involved with the film, I have discovered a kinship in fellow adoptees. I commend VIFF for believing in the film and respect Tammy for her hard work and believing in our journey.”
Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam tells the significant yet untold story of the $2 million dollar US initiative that airlifted over 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of a war-torn country to protect them 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 movie takes a contemporary look at Babylift and its relevance to international adoption today. The feature documentary was a passionate team effort that took over 4 years to produce and is currently making its way through the film festival circuit. For more information, please visit www.TheBabylift.com
Dallas based non profit ATG Against the Grain Productions was formed to promote Asian American cultural awareness through compelling media projects, while also raising funds for international orphanages. For more information, please visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com