GRANT #435:

Dream Way

01/25/2021
Dreaming Of Getting Away From Those People You’ve Been Stuck With? We Feel You.

Chris Thach’s experience as a first-generation Vietnamese-US American kid leaving home for college gave him the idea for a short film. Asian families are known for encouraging their children to succeed in education. Yet those families face a challenge when first-gen kids go away to the good schools they aspired to attend: suddenly their close family isn’t so close. For the young people, independence and separation are natural and utterly unpreventable. This is devastating to the families left behind. Chris thinks his film will get people talking about these issues instead of suffering in silence.

His insightful conversations with his own mother, open and vulnerable exchanges in which she shared details about her escape from Vietnam, prompted Chris to discuss the complexities of “breaking up the family” with other first-generation college students. How can repressive social customs leave a way for the family to share their love?

Chris plans to tell that story in the short fictional film he calls “Dream Way,” shooting over two days with very minimal cast and crew on set if there’s not a lockdown. Our AWB grant will help pay for COVID-safe boxed lunches, N95 face masks, and the film permit. Chris also hopes he can afford costumes, makeup, set design, social media marketing, and the film festival circuit.

The young filmmaker does have his own dream for “Dream Way.” He says, “The film is meant to be a gift and place of understanding for the community that raised me, and I want to be able to give it the production quality it deserves.”  We hope that dream comes true.