Tony Nguyen made his directorial debut with ENFORCING THE SILENCE (2011), which the LA Times called “an uplifting portrait” of Lam Duong, the first of five Vietnamese journalists to be assassinated in America. In 2015 his personal film, GIAP’S LAST DAY AT THE IRONING BOARD FACTORY, broadcast nationally on PBS and received the CAAMFest Award for Social Issue Documentary. In 2016 he served as an associate producer on the Emmy-nominated Frontline documentary TERROR IN LITTLE SAIGON. In 2017 his short, FRESH FROZEN, about the best fish sandwich in Oakland premiered at the inaugural DOCLANDS Documentary Film Festival in Mill Valley. In 2019 he premiered G. BRONSON, a short about an aspiring musician, at OAKLAND SHORTIES 2 at the New Parkway Theater. In 2020 he released I SEE ME about Oakland teen muralist Kathy Liang, which was featured on KQED.
In 1975, a young woman, unaware she’s pregnant, escapes Vietnam during the Fall of Saigon, lands in a small town in Indiana, and, seven months later, gives birth. As her son grows from child to adult, she adamantly refuses to tell him anything about his father, who and where he is, if he’s even alive. TO BE (working title) follows filmmaker Tony Nguyen on his quest to solve the mystery of his father and heal a part of himself. An “investigative home movie,” this hour-long documentary is an exploration of family, history, masculinity, of how an individual is shaped by race, war and loss.