SMU Presents Tammy Nguyen Lee with Emerging Leader Award

(l. to r.) Ken Malcolmson, president of SMU's Alumni Board of Directors; George W. Bramblett Jr.; Stephen Mulholland; Tammy Nguyen Lee; Gary Crum; and R. Gerald Turner, president of SMU.

Tammy Nguyen Lee, a graduate of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, will receive the 2010 Southern Methodist University Emerging Leader Award on Thursday, October 21. SMU President R. Gerald Turner will present the award at the Distinguished Alumni Awards black-tie celebration at the Fairmont Hotel in Downtown Dallas.

Dr. Turner wrote, “The Emerging Leader Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has graduated within the last fifteen years and has distinguished himself or herself as an emerging leader in a particular discipline, organization, or cause that has brought distinction to the University.” Arlene Manthey, SMU Associate Director of Development for Student Affairs, said, “Tammy was a student leader who made a real impact on not only her peers but others, like me, who had a chance to work with her as a staff advisor.” Continued Manthey, “She has continued to be a bright and shining star using her talents that were honed as a student leader and has become a change agent through the film and entertainment industry. Tammy…is inspirational, visionary, courageous, focused, accomplished, and always willing to step up to the plate and make a difference.”

“This has been an incredible year, full of many personal and professional landmarks and milestones,” said Lee. “It is very validating to be honored by my mentors and peers in this way. What a wonderful gift, especially during a 10- year reunion. I am very humbled and appreciative of those who have helped me along the way.”

Lee was an active student leader and honors graduate from Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts in 2000, during which time she was leader with Program Council and East Asian Student Association, voted 1st runner-up Homecoming Queen and served as Miss Asian American Texas from 1999-2001. She has experience as an actress/model, with credits spanning across movies, television, commercials, industrials and national campaigns. After graduating from SMU, Lee received a Master of Fine Arts from the elite UCLA Producers Program in 2004. She has been the recipient of numerous scholarships, leadership and service awards, volunteered with various community organizations and  served on the Board of Directors of Women in Film.Dallas. She is President and Founder of ATG Against The Grain Productions, a nonprofit organization that promotes Asian American cultural awareness through outreach programs and raises money for aid to orphanages in Asia. She currently is the Director of Development for Original Programming at AMS Pictures, one of the largest production companies in the southwest, where she oversees the development of a heavy slate of projects that she has successfully developed and sold to WE tv, HGTV and truTV (Girl Meets Gown, Ma’s Roadhouse).

Lee will also speak on a symposium panel for “The Art of Entrepreneurship” at 8 a.m. on Friday, October 22, hosted by the SMU Cinema-Television (CTV) division. Later that day, SMU CTV hosts a free encore community screening of Lee’s award-winning feature documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam from 3-5 p.m. in the SMU Owens Arts Center in the Greer Garson Screening Room 3531. Lee’s directorial debut depicts the historic effort that airlifted over 2,500 orphans out of Vietnam during the last days of the Vietnam War and these adoptees’ complex journey to make peace with their controversial past. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Operation Babylift. A Q&A will follow with Lee and two local Babylift adoptees. Finally, Lee will serve as one of the Homecoming Parade dignitaries on Saturday, October 23 and will attend the Homecoming football game as a guest of President Turner.

To attend the SMU Operation Babylift screening, RSVP to trevinot@smu.edu or call 214-768-2129. For more information on ATG Against the Grain Productions, please visit www.AgainstTheGrainproductions.com

Asian American Designers Showcase Collections at Fashion for a Passion

Proceeds from charity fashion show to benefit international orphanages


DALLAS, TX – Dallas nonprofit ATG Against The Grain Productions presents the 2nd Annual Fashion For A Passion from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 25 at LandCo/7 Senses located at 1202 N. Riverfront (formerly Industrial) in Dallas, Texas. The event will showcase collections from emerging Asian American designers Khanh Nguyen for Nhã Khanh, Nikki Duong Koenig for Cykochik, Lyly Thanh Koenig for Lyly Thanh, Prashi Shah for Prashe and Judy Yang. This year’s event will also feature the collection of Chloe Dao, Season 2 winner of Project Runway, with the designer in attendance. In addition to the fashion showcase, there will be musical acts, as well as an exhibition of work by local Asian American artists.  The event also features a live auction of pieces from each fashion designer’s collection, with the proceeds to benefit orphanages in Vietnam and ATG’s community outreach initiatives.

FFAP Presenting Designer Chloe Dao

In 2009, ATG showcased the designs of budding designers Kim Phuong Pham, Lizzi London, Aiden Vo and Khanh Nguyen, all of who have now gone on to start successful careers in the industry.  ATG also raised more than $5,000 to aid needy orphanages in Vietnam.

Returning designer Khanh Nguyen, a graduate from UNT, said, “Participating in Fashion for a Passion in 2009 was definitely a turning point in my career.  The event was also where and when I learned the meaning of receiving and giving back.” After Fashion for a Passion, she became a Woman That Soar Honoree, recipient of the Brilliant You Award and her work was featured in La Mode and D Magazine. Added Nguyen, “Against The Grain Productions not only allowed me to connect with my native country, but it also helped me to realize the importance of charity work. I loved the experience, the effort and the energy that everyone put in to make the show happen. I am very honored and thrilled to be back to showcase my new collection this year!”

FFAP Presenting Designer Khanh Nguyen

ATG President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee, a graduate of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, said, “I’m so proud to hear and see lives changed like this as a result of our organization’s efforts.  We founded Against The Grain with the mission to provide that essential support to Asian American artists and promote and share our community’s young talents, and we hope that our hard work continues to result in success stories like Khanh Nguyen’s. Compounded with the nationwide praise for our first documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, it has been a tremendous year.”

FFAP event tickets range from $40-$50, and sales for the event start in mid August online at www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com. VIP/Sponsorships are still available. ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian-American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam has received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com.

OPERATION BABYLIFT to Screen at University Of California-Irvine

Dallas, TX – To commemorate the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and Operation Babylift, Dallas based non-profit ATG Against the Grain Productions is honored to screen Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at the University of California – Irvine. The award-winning documentary screening takes place on Friday, May 14th from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm  at UC Irvine Schneiderman Lecture Hall, Room 100A.

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.

Lee Ngo, UC Irvine PhD student in the department of anthropology and organizer of the event, reflected upon the theme of cultural identity found in Tammy Nguyen Lee’s feature documentary. “With respect to the heated debates over interpreting the aftermath of the Vietnam War, it’s hard to choose a subject of analysis that manages to supersede many of the cultural politics of representation and identity. Tammy does exactly this through her diligent and powerful documentary,” said Ngo. “I think anyone that’s interested in formations of ethnic identity, an alternative to the hegemonic American perspective in contemporary Vietnamese history, and the complexity of international altruism should see this film. It is certainly one of the highlights of the 2009 Vietnamese International Film Festival,” said Ngo.

There will also be a Q&A following the screening with the film’ producer and director, Tammy Nguyen Lee.   “We had our world premiere at ViFF and are thrilled to return to Southern California to share this inspiring story during what is a most significant month for our community’s history,” said Lee, a MFA graduate from UCLA’s Producers Program.

The free community screening is sponsored by the UCI Department of Anthropology, UCI Vietnamese American Coalition (VAC), UCI Asian Pacific Student Association (APSA) and the Union of Vietnamese Students Association of Southern California (UVSA). Tammy Nguyen Lee is a first generation Vietnamese American and 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. Additional information for the UCI community screening is available at www.TheBabylift.com or www.vietfilmfest.com.

OPERATION BABYLIFT in Bayshore Courier News

Our upcoming community screening in New Jersey of Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam is in the Bayshore Courier News. To see the original article, please visit their website.

Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam
Bayshore Courier News
Posted:04/19/10

Click on picture to Zoom
Operation_babylift_small

Holmdel – On April 3, 1975, United States President Gerald R. Ford announced that “Operation Babylift” would fly some of the estimated 70,000 Vietnamese babies and children who were left orphaned by the Vietnam War to safety in America. Thirty flights, combining private and military planes, transported at least 2,000 children to the United States and another 1,300 children to Canada, Europe and Australia. These children, born in a war-torn land, grew up as members of international, adoptive families.

On Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will host a screening, followed by a group discussion, of the 2009 Award-Winning Film, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Operation Babylift. Many of the adoptees, organizers, family and friends involved in Operation Babylift will be in attendance to celebrate the 35th anniversary.

There will also be an honor guard procession recognizing those who did not survive the humanitarian mission known as Operation Babylift. This program will be held at the Vietnam Era Educational Center in Holmdel, NJ.

Guest speakers will include event organizer and author Lana Mae Noone and her daughter Jennifer Nguyen Noone, MSW, who she adopted through Babylift. Dr. Robert Ballard, a professor at Waterloo University (Ontario, Canada) and a Babylift Adoptee, and his wife Sarah who specializes in international adoption will also speak. The director of Project Reunite Trista Goldberg, also a Babylift Adoptee, will discuss her Babylift story. The nationally acclaimed author of The Life We Were Given, Dana Sachs will be present to address the audience. Retired U.S. Army Medic Ron Speight, a Vietnam Era veteran, will provide a dialogue about Operation New Life, a humanitarian program for Vietnam adults. There will be a Vietnamese and American musical performance by Lana Mae Noone prior to the film screening. The cast and crew of Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam including Producer/Director Tammy Nguyen Lee and Associate Producer Jared Rehberg will be present for a question and answer period. The documentary, which was partly filmed in New Jersey, tells the contemporary story of the adoptees as adults. Several of the day’s speakers are featured in the film. Book signings and a reception with the opportunity to view Operation Babylift artifacts will follow the film screening. The event schedule is available for view on njvvmf.org. The program is dedicated to all those who did not survive Operation Babylift.

Attendees are asked to RSVP to (732) 335-0033. Regular admission applies. Regular admission is free for veterans and active-duty military personnel. Regular adult admission is $4.00; student and senior citizen admission is $2.00; and children under 10 are admitted free. The Vietnam Era Educational Center is located adjacent to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial off the Garden State Parkway at exit 116. The Educational Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm.

OPERATION BABYLIFT screens this Friday 4/23 at NYU

The Asian/Pacific/American Institute of New York University will host a screening and discussion of the award-winning documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm this Friday, April 23rd at the Cantor Film Center, located at 36 East 8th Street, Theater 101, New York .  The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. RSVP via the A/P/A Institute website, email apa.rsvp@nyu.edu or call 212-992-9653.

Operation Babylift was a $2 million U.S. initiative that airlifted more than 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of a war-torn country in 1975 to protect them from the impending threat of the Communist regime. Called one of the “most humanitarian efforts in history,” it was plagued by lawsuits and political turmoil.

The documentary, released in 2009, takes a candid look at Operation Babylift as seen through the eyes of the volunteers, parents and organizations directly involved. It uncovers the lost stories of the adoptees and who they have become as adults, revealing their compelling struggles and triumphs and giving them the opportunity to finally share their journeys from their perspectives.

This event celebrates the 35th anniversary of Operation Babylift and joins conversations about child rescue and adoption that have intensified in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti. A post-screening panel will discuss Operation Babylift as well as the issues faced by adoptees from Asia.

Panelists include:

Tammy Nguyen Lee, Filmmaker, Operation Babylift

Jared Rehberg, Associate Producer and adoptee participant, Operation Babylift

Tara Leaman, Associate Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and adoptee participant, Operation Babylift

Marissa Martin, President of Also-Known-As, Inc.

Lili Johnson, NYU Student, Dept of Social & Cultural Analysis, and adoptee from China

Moderated by Laura Chen-Schultz, Deputy Director, A/P/A Institute at NYU

The screening is made possible by support from the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History/Center for Religion and Media .Co-sponsored by Familes with Children from China of Greater New York and Also Known As, Inc.

To RSVP, visit the A/P/A Institute Operation Babylift Event Page.

More information about the documentary is available at TheBabylift.com.

OPERATION BABYLIFT Screens Twice in the Windy City

Non-profit ATG Against the Grain Productions proudly presents Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam twice in Chicago this April.

The film makes its city premiere at the 15th Annual FAAIM Chicago Asian American Showcase, screening at 3:15 pm on Sunday, April 11th at the Gene Siskel Film Center, located at 164 N. State Street in Downtown.

“Operation Babylift” was a $2 million U.S. 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.  Even with the best intentions, these adoptees grew up facing a unique set of challenges in America, including prejudice overshadowed by a controversial war and cultural identity crisis. Nearly thirty five years later, this documentary takes a candid look at a significant, yet untold event as seen through the eyes of the volunteers, parents, and organizations directly involved, and features compelling and insightful interviews from a cross-section of adoptees and Babylift volunteers.

Film festival director, Tim Hugh, notes how this year’s festival features three films on adoption told from unique and different perspectives. Operation Babylift is a contemporary look at Babylift and its relevance to international adoption today through the eyes of the adoptees themselves.  “We’re pleased to be able to present Operation Babylift to the Chicagoland area, not just for the Vietnamese community, but also to help educate our other communities and people to the struggles, and the rich, complex stories the Vietnamese in America have,” said Hugh.

Ticket and screening information is available at http://www.faaim.org.

Operation Babylift has an encore showing the following weekend at 5:30 pm on Saturday,  April 17th, sponsored by the Loyola VASA and API Committees and co-sponsored by FCVN Chicago.  The free admission community screening takes place at Loyola’s Lake Shore campus in the Simpson Living-Learning Center , located at 6333 N. Winthrop Avenue.  Filmmaker Tammy Nguyen Lee and cast member/adoptee Jared Rehberg will be in attendance for the Q&A following the screening.

For more information on how to attend the Loyola University community screening, visit http://luc.edu/diversity/api_heritage_month.shtml

Tammy Nguyen Lee to Join Vietnamese Filmmakers at Cinema Symposium 5

Tammy Nguyen Lee, ATG Against The Grain Productions President and filmmaker,  joins several other Vietnamese filmmakers and creatives at the Cinema Symposium 5 panel discussion held from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m on Sunday, April 18, 2010 at UCLA. Tammy will stream in live from Dallas, TX to  share her perspective on producing her award-winning documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam. Read below for more info:

Cinema Symposium 5 Unites Filmmakers, from Established to Emerging, Local to Global

HIDDEN GENIUS’s Top Five Films To Be Screened at Cinema Symposium 5
Los Angeles, Calif. – UCLA’s Vietnamese Language and Culture (VNLC) and the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) present the fifth biennial Cinema Symposium titled “Operation Greenlight: Breaking into the World of Vietnamese Cinema.” Cinema Symposium 5 will be held on Sunday, April 18, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Dodd Hall 121 on the UCLA campus. Admission is free and open to the public. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.

The symposium will feature 11 distinguished guests. Our panel includes: Kieu Chinh (Actress/Producer, “Journey from the Fall,” “Sad Fish”, “Time”), Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo (Director, “Buffalo Boy”, “Don’t Look Back”), Mark Tran (Director, “All About Dad”), Orchid Lam Quynh (Actress, “Sad Fish”), Minh Duc Nguyen (Director, “Touch”), Nadine Truong (Director, “Shadow Man”), Danny Do (Producer, “Just Kidding Films”). As a special feature, we will also be streaming “Live” from Saigon the production team from “De Mai Tinh” [Fool for Love], with Dustin Nguyen, Irene Trinh, and Charlie Nguyen. Also joining us “Live” from Dallas, Texas, is director Tammy Nguyen Lee of “Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam.”

The esteemed panelists will be discussing the “ins” and “outs” of Vietnamese filmmaking, producing, and distributing. They will offer advice and speak about their experiences in the making of films and short videos in both Vietnam and Vietnamese America. The panel discussion will be followed by a lively Q & A. Shortly thereafter, please join us for the screening of the “Hidden Genius” competition entries.

“Hidden Genius” is an exciting short film competition open to emerging filmmakers. After months of screening and deliberation, the selection committee nominated five short films for the Grand Jury Award, sponsored by the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA), and the Audience Award, sponsored by Coco Paris LLC. These films hail from four countries — the United States, Canada, Australia, and Vietnam — and, in spite of the specific qualifications of this competition, vary immensely in subject matter and aesthetics. Patrick Bergeron’s “Loop Loop” is an experimental panorama filmed from a train ride in Hanoi. Justin Quoc Dang’s “Dice” is a thrilling lesson on the ephemeral nature of glory. Minh Duc Hoang Tran’s “Closed…!” explores the mounting tension between an alienated wife and her oblivious husband. Hoa Vu’s “Water Me” is a tongue-in-cheek memoir of a vacation in Vietnam among friends. Last, Huy Vu’s “Thinking of You” is a lush vignette about a quirky flower shop girl and the elusive “object” of her desire. These films, deriving from the furthest corners from our base in southern California, demonstrate that Vietnamese is indeed a “globalized” nationality, hence the theme of this year’s Cinema Symposium 5 – “Operation Greenlight: Breaking into the World of Vietnamese Cinema.”

Cinema Symposium was created in 2002 by VAALA and VNLC and is held every other year at UCLA. The forum seeks to create connections between Vietnamese American professionals working in the film industry and students with an interest in film and Vietnamese culture. Cinema Symposium alternates yearly with the Vietnamese International Film Festival (ViFF), which is also biennial. It works to promote works that are by or about Vietnamese Americans. The event also highlights the achievements of professionals in front of and behind the camera. These artists’ accomplishments in this highly competitive industry continue to pave the way for other Vietnamese Americans and are inspirational to many in the community.

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Meet and greet; refreshments served
3:00 – 3:10 p.m. Opening remarks
3:10 – 3:30 p.m. Showcase of trailers/clips
3:30 – 5:15 p.m. Panel discussion
5:15 – 5:30 p.m. LIVE streaming from Saigon with Để Mai Tính team
5:30 – 5:35 p.m. LIVE streaming from Dallas with Tammy Nguyen Lee
5:36 – 6:00 p.m. Screning of Hidden Genius’s five finalists
6:00 – 6:15 p.m. Break
6:15 – 7:00 p.m. Awards presentation

Moderated by Lee Ngo and Daniel Pham

FUNDED BY:
Funded by USA/BOD and Coco Paris LLC

For more info, visit:
www.vnlc.org
www.vaala.org
www.VietFilmFest.com

OPERATION BABYLIFT to Screen at Vail Film Festival

Dallas, TX – Dallas based non-profit ATG Against the Grain Productions is honored to present Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at its Colorado premiere during the 2010 Vail Film Festival (VFF) in Vail, Colorado. The compelling documentary that won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, screens twice. The first screening is at 2:45 pm on Saturday, April 3rd at Vail Plaza 1. Several members of the cast, including adoptees Jane Hopkins and Lucas Young and FFAC nurse Mary Nelle Gage, will be in attendance for the Q&A following the screening.

The encore screening takes place at 12 pm on Sunday, April 4th.  Ticket and screening information are available at www.vailfilmfestival.org.

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. 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.

Several interviewees featured in the film are Colorado residents and will be present at the screening. Adoptee Jane Hopkins said, “Being adopted has always been a peripheral part of my life; although, it is a part of my identity, I have never felt like it has defined me or prevented me from being the person I am today. . . My story is only one of many adoptees.  Operation Babylift provides us with a unique window into some of the lives and stories surrounding a war that had a tremendous impact on the US and Vietnam.”

Erin Sheppard, Vail Film Festival Documentary Programmer, said “Operation Babylift was the journey for identity that the adoptees went through–and continue to go through into adulthood… it is human nature to question who we are and where we come from, and this film comes at it from an under-heard group in the American population.  Festival attendees will be able to relate to the questions and searching that the subjects go through during the course of the film, regardless of their backgrounds and cultural histories.  This is an incredible story from the moment the group of Americans decided to move these children out of Vietnam and as it continues to unfold as each individual story branches out from their similar beginning.”

Producer/Director Tammy Nguyen Lee, a MFA graduate from UCLA’s Producers Program, added, “We’re so honored to have our Colorado premiere with the Vail Film Festival. To come full circle back to place where so many adoptees found their home and share this emotional and inspiring story is exciting and significant.”

Tammy Nguyen Lee is a first generation Vietnamese American who fled Saigon as a Boat Person 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.

OPERATION BABYLIFT Presented at Washington University School of Law

"Operation Babylift" panel at Washington University

DALLAS, TX – Dallas-based nonprofit organization ATG Against the Grain Productions had its first community outreach screening of its award-winning documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at the Washington University School of Law (WUSTL) in St. Louis, Missouri, which took place at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 15th in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom of Anheuser-Busch Hall. Filmmaker Tammy Nguyen Lee, along with four local St. Louis residents who were involved in Operation Babylift, attended the screening and participated in the engaging panel discussion after.

“Our first community outreach screening was a huge success. We are very grateful for the outpouring of support and emotion. To see the film touch such a broad spectrum of lives and connect people in this way makes all our hard work worthwhile and richly rewarding,” said Tammy Nguyen Lee.

Operation Babylift is Tammy Nguyen Lee’s feature directorial debut and tells the story of how more than 2,500 orphans were airlifted out of Vietnam during the last days of the Vietnam War and their tumultuous journey growing up in America.  The documentary incorporates a historical and contemporary view of this little known and controversial part of American history, featuring compelling interviews from a cross-section of adoptees, their parents and volunteers, as well as archival and rare home video footage.

“Operation Babylift inspires and provokes on many levels. An honest and nuanced examination of international adoption, it also is a poignant chronicle of how children, parents, and adults adjust over a lifetime in their understandings of parenting and home. Students at Washington University loved this film,” said Kent D. Syverud, J.D., WUSTL law school dean and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor, who, as a law clerk, assisted the judge presiding over the class action lawsuit from the crash.

“Many had strong emotional reactions to the film, the panel discussion and the historical events presented.  Law students got a close look at the human face of inter-country adoption, the tragic circumstances often prompting such adoptions and the hope and promise they represent. Today, inter-country adoption continues to raise difficult questions, and the film’s nuanced approach deepened the students’ understanding of these issues,” said Susan Appleton, J.D., WUSTL’s Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law, whose scholarship and teaching focuses on adoption and who served as moderator and organizer of the community event.

“Operation Babylift did more than leave me thinking: it left me caring. The documentary was educational and eye-opening, but, above all, it was moving. I didn’t know how bad things were in Vietnamese orphanages back then, and I can only imagine the hardships the surviving adoptees went through. I am thankful for the, at times, painfully emotional glimpse the film provided,” said Mei Qi, WUSTL law student and President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA).

To see pictures from the event, visit ATG’s Flickr site.

ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian-American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam has received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com