Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 22:48:01 -0700 (PDT)

"Buffalo Boy" director on his Academy-award entry film

Irvine -- Vietnam-born film director Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo switched careers from a (UCLA) Ph.D in physics to filmmaker, reaching heights unimagined when he moved to the U.S. from France as a student. His film, "Buffalo Boy," (Mua Len Trau) was Vietnam's foreign language film entry to the 2005 Academy Awards.

The film was first shown in California at last year's Vietnamese International Film Festival at UC Irvine as its closing night film (

On Monday, 17 April, 2006, we chat with the director about the phenomenal success of his film, which has won many U.S. and international awards. Depicting the mass movement of a herd of buffaloes in flood-ravaged Mekong Delta in the 1930s, the film has been hailed by film critic Manohla Dargis in the New York Times as a "languorous, beautifully shot feature debut" (

Director Nguyen-Vo is the fatured guest on Subversity, a KUCI public affairs show on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Orange County, California, and web-cast on, from 9-10 a.m. on Monday, April 17.

His film is currently showing at Regal Cinema 16, Garden Grove, 9741 Chapman Avenue (at Brookhurst St.) on selected days: April 22, 23, and 29th. REVISED: Each day has only 1 screening: 12:45 PM; Discussion with filmmaker after the showing..

Concurrently in Vietnam, legislators there are considering, ironically, a proposed new cinematography law that would bar overseas Vietnamese and other expatriates like Nguyen-Vo from being involved in making Vietnamese films in Vietnam, despite his film's selection as the official 2005 Oscar submission from Vietnam. The head of Vietnam's cinematography department has been quoted in press reports as saying that "expatriates living away from their native country would not fully understand its ethics, customs, aesthetics, and cultural values." (Thanh Nien, Ho Chi Minh City, 15 March 2006:

Trailer (Windows Media):
This trailer in Vietnamese with French subtitles.

IMDb entries on Director Nguyen-Vo:

Biography of Director Nguyen-Vo:

Review of his 1999 short, Crimson Wings:


Upcoming event:

VietNamese Language and Culture (VNLC) in collaboration with
Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) proudly presents

"From Script to Screen"

A panel discussion with a showcase of film clips

SUNDAY April 23, 2006
at UCLA Haines Hall 39

3:00pm - 5:30pm -- Symposium with Guest Panelists:

Ham Tran (Director/Journey from the Fall), Kathy Uyen (Actress/Kieu), 
Le-Van Kiet (Director/Dust of Life),
Linh Le (Actress/Dust of Life), Mike Nguyen (Director/My Little 
World),Nguyen Tran (Film Sales Agent),
Ringo Le (Director/Saigon Love Story), Tuan Tran (Director/Finding 

5:30pm - 6:15pm -- Special screening of Passage of Life, directed by Luu 
Co-winner of ViFF 2003 Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film

6:15pm - 7:30pm -- Light refreshments

Admission is free; UCLA parking $8.