Talent Guide

Minh Nguyen-Vo

  • Discipline:Director, Producer, Writer
  • Program Year:Directing Lab 2006, Fast Track 2007, Producing Lab 2007


Minh Nguyen-Vo is an immigrant from Vietnam who studied in France and now lives in the US. He grew up in a small town in Vietnam during the war. To escape the atrocities around him, he spent a great deal of his youth in the only one-room movie theater in town, which was managed by his parents.

After high school, Nguyen-Vo was awarded a scholarship to University de Poitiers, France, where he earned his Bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering. He continued his education in the US at UCLA and graduated with a PhD in Applied Physics. His research focused on quantum electronics with an application in high-energy lasers and holographic memory. The passion to follow ideas from many different perspectives brought him back to his childhood fantasy of cinema. After many years spent in Los Angeles, part of Nguyen-Vo’s family is moving back to Vietnam, where he returns regularly to visit. Being part of two worlds requires him to deal with questions of personal identity by attempting to transcend them.

Buffalo Boy (2004), Nguyen-Vo’s first feature project as writer-director, was an official selection in over 60 international film festivals, including Locarno, Toronto, Rotterdam, and Pusan. It was Vietnam’s official entry for the 2006 Academy Awards and won many awards around the world, including the FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Nguyen-Vo is an alumnus of Film Independent’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs.

Point of Reference will shoot in the summer of 2008, in Los Angeles.

Current Project

Point of Reference (Narrative Feature)


An immigrant with a tragic past and a marginal sense of direction is revitalized by the wonders of the global positioning system and an unexpected romantic encounter.