Wednesday May 10, 2023

#49 Mai American

Kevin Truong was born in a refugee camp. His mom fled Việt Nam with his two older sisters, while two months pregnant with him. Kevin grew up in Oregon ashamed of his immigrant mother and how un-American their lives felt. For the past ten years Kevin has been working on a documentary called Mai American. The film is about a 70-year-old Vietnamese American refugee living in Oregon who writes down her life story, indelibly shaped by the War in Việt Nam. As she shares what she has written with Kevin, they begin separate but parallel journeys confronting the traumas of their past and the emotional divide in their present.The film is more than just a story about a Vietnamese refugee, or the immigrant experience, it is an American story and at the heart of it, a story about the relationship between a mother and a son. 

Mai American is one of five film projects participating in the 2023 DocPitch, a film pitching competition presented by the California Film Institute - Each of the five projects have a pitch online, and audiences get to vote to help the project of their choice win $45,000. Voting is Free! You can view Kevin’s pitch online and vote for his project to help get it to the finish line! Go to

Episode Credits:
Executive Producer: Tracey Nguyễn Mang
Associate Producer: Saoli Nguyễn
VBP theme music: Clarity, Paulina Vo
Other music: Fugetsu, SAYURI HAYASHI EGNELL; Somewhere Ahead, DANIEL KAEDE
Mai American trailer: courtesy of Kevin Truong

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