Vietnam refugees who redefined their identities through NEW WAVE...
Project type: Documentary Feature
Project status: Production
Director/Producer: Elizabeth Ai
Co-producer: Anh Phan
Co-producer: Tracy Chitupatham
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Mile-high hair. Synthesized sounds. Underground parties. The “Viet New Wave” music scene of 1980’s California was the catalyst to healing for an entire generation of boat refugees stranded in cultural limbo as new Americans. New Wave is a coming-of-age story which celebrates the trail-blazers who rebuilt community and forged a vibrant music industry more influential than the one they left behind in their homeland post Fall of Saigon.
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Meet the Filmmakers
Elizabeth Ai – Director/Producer
Elizabeth Ai is a Chinese-Vietnamese-American Los Angeles based Emmy award-winning producer. She writes, directs, and produces independent narratives as well as branded content for companies such as National Geographic, ESPN, and VICE. She produced documentary features Dirty Hands: The Art & Crimes of David Choe (2008), on the titled artist after his prison release and before his meteoric rise and A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem (2019), which examines wage theft and exploitation of the only visible NFL women. Additionally, she produced Saigon Electric (2011), a feature narrative set in Vietnam’s world of breakdancing. During her tenure at VICE, she created the original pilot for Bong Appétit (2014), which got picked up for series on Viceland. She produced feature narrative, The Longest Sleep, which is in post production (2021) and is currently directing two in-progress feature documentaries. She’s a fellow of Berlin Talent Campus, Film Independent, Sundance, and Tribeca. Her film projects are supported by California Humanities, Firelight Media, Knight Foundation, and ITVS. She received her B.A. from the University of Southern California
Tracy Chitupatham – Producer
Tracy Chitupatham has created content for brands like BMW, Neutrogena, Samsung and companies like Hulu, Disney, and National Geographic. Her projects have won numerous awards including an Emmy. Chitupatham held staff Producer positions at Awesomeness, Vice Media and Tremolo Productions. She Co-Produced the feature film, There is a New World Somewhere (2015), which garnered ‘Best Feature’ award at the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival. As a Producer, she is in Post Production on the narrative feature, Daughter (2021), and completed production on The Longest Sleep (2022) starring Lawrence Kao. Chitupatham is a member of the Directors Guild of America, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, and Women of Color Unite. Her projects are supported by California Humanities, Center for Asian American Media, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Women Make Movies. As a woman of color with an invisible disability, she’s worked tirelessly on independent films to advocate for underrepresented voices and stories.
Anh Phan – Producer
Anh Phan has over ten years experience in media production, having produced content for brands such as BODYARMOR, Lincoln Motor Company, Toyota, and Urban Decay. As a Producer on Skating Friends, a short documentary about queer Asian-American skateboarders, she pitched live at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival for Tribeca Film Institute’s If/Then Shorts Competition. She is also a production consultant on feature documentary, Home is Where The War Is, which spotlights policies exacerbating the ongoing global refugee crisis. Phan is currently a staff producer at Unicorns & Unicorns, a collective studio led by BIPOC women who share her goal of amplifying underrepresented voices in mediamaking. There she provides creative management and oversight on advertising campaigns from bidding through post. A proud SoCal native, Phan hails from Little Saigon, Orange County and received her film degree from the University of Southern California.
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