Distribution of Asian/Asian American film have always been difficult in the US. With the shutdown of several Asian/Asian American film distributors last year, it makes film harder to get distribution and makes Asian American Film Festivals around the country even more important. One film is trying to buck the trend. “Owl and The Sparrow” is getting released with a grassroot effort by the Vietnamese American directors that formed the distribution company Wave Releasing. This is the first film being distributed. Currently, “Owl and The Sparrow” is in Los Angeles and the OC. This weekend it opens in San Jose. Coming soon San Francisco and Texas. Here’s the synopsis for “Owl and The Sparrow”:
A beautiful flight attendant looking for love. A lonely zookeeper hiding from a changing society. A little orphan girl selling roses on the streets of Saigon, relying on the kindness of strangers to survive. It’s modern day Saigon, where eight million people are just trying to keep up with the pace.
Thuy, a scrappy ten year old who lives on the outskirts of the city, has no choice in life but to work in her uncle’s bamboo factory. That is, till she packs her bags to run away into the city. Now forced to survive on her own, she first sells postcards then flowers on the streets. Lan, the flight attendant, arrives at Ho Chi Minh airport on a five-day layover, checking into the same family-run hotel every week. The hotel girls wonder why she’s alone, but Lan only tells them that she’s just hard to understand. She doesn’t tell them that she’s having a secret affair with the airline pilot. Hai, a zookeeper living on the park grounds in a shack, is nursing a broken heart after his fiance left him. He lives only for his animals now, until the zoo director tells him that his beloved elephant will soon be shipped off to an Indian Zoo.
In four days the young runaway will play matchmaker to these lonely hearts in hopes of forming a surrogate family. The only thing that may stop her are city authorities who want her in an orphanage and an overbearing uncle tracking her down in the big city.
Special message from writer/director Stephane Gauger and executive producer Timothy Linh Bui about supporting “Owl and the Sparrow”
A captivating performance by 10-year old newcomer Pham Thi Han. A sweet story directed by Stephane Gauger that leaves audiences smiling.