Tagged Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam

2013 Operation Babylift Reflections by Jared Rehberg

PageImage-497879-2533595-Operation_BabyliftEvery year during this week, I take a moment to reflect on my past. Life gets hectic with work, hobbies, friends and family. Thirty-eight years ago this week, I left the An Lac orphanage and South Vietnam on an airplane to begin my new life in America. This historic week would soon be call Operation Babylift. It would take 25 years before I would be reunited with other Vietnamese adoptees and begin to understand what happened so many years ago. After all the talk about politics and opinions, there was still over 3,000 children who were relocated around the world. Through the years, I’ve enjoyed connecting with Vietnamese adoptees around the world. I found comfort sharing familiar experiences and knowing that there was someone out there to talk to when I was in need of a shoulder or ear. Thanks to Facebook, we have groups and a mini address book of connections. After the reunion in Baltimore in 2000, I began writing and performing songs about my adoption experience. My life’s work led me to meeting Tammy Nguyen Lee and helping to produce her documentary film Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam. I will never forget our time together traveling, filming and screening our film. I learned so much more about my past and met so many wonderful people who share a common history. Today, I’m proud to be on the ATG Board for my 4th year servicing as Outreach Director. Weeks like this remind me of our ATG mission and my personal inspiration to give back to the Asian American community and continue to produce music and tell stories from my journey.

I wrote a special song for my Vietnamese adoptee brothers and sisters called Something to Save. You’re not alone. Our stories will be shared from generation to generation. Listen here: http://jaredrehberg.virb.com/music

Check out the film and learn more about Babylift: http://www.thebabylift.com/

PageImage-497879-2532745-13551_180274528873_112545978873_2778860_7654472_nOPERATION BABYLIFT: THE LOST CHILDREN OF VIETNAM tells the significant, yet untold story of the $2 million U.S. initiative that airlifted over 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of a war-torn country from the impending threat of the Communist regime. These adoptees grew up facing unique challenges in America, including prejudice overshadowed by a controversial war and cultural identity crisis. Featuring compelling and insightful interviews of the volunteers, parents, and organizations directly involved, the documentary takes a contemporary look at Operation Babylift and its relevance to international adoption today.

The Record: Documentary on Vietnamese orphans has local touch

Robert Ballard of the University of Waterloo holds a promotional poster from a soon to be released documentary about a massive airlift of orphans out of Vietnam after the the war.By Frances Barrick, Record staff

Wed Jan 12 2011

He’s a University of Waterloo professor who is featured prominently in a documentary about the 1975 evacuation of thousands of orphans from war torn Vietnam.

Now Robert Ballard has arranged for the film, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, to be shown Jan. 22 at the Princess Twin cinema in Waterloo.

“A lot of people are interested in international adoptions and are intrigued by our story” and that led to this showing, Ballard said.

Ballard was just three weeks old when he and thousands of other Vietnamese orphans were airlifted during an American-led evacuation to protect the children from the impending threat of the Communist regime.

The orphans were adopted by families in the United States, Canada and Australia.

In their own voices, this movie tells the story of some of these Vietnamese adoptees growing up in America where they faced racism and being associated with an unpopular war.

Ballard is featured not only as a Vietnamese adoptee, but the film tells the story of the trials and tribulations he and his wife encountered as they tried to adopt a baby boy from Vietnam.

They were living in the United States when their plans to adopt fell through as the U.S. government ended its adoption program with Vietnam over allegations of baby selling, bribery and false documents.

In July 2008, the couple moved to Waterloo and started the adoption process again. Last May, they adopted Jayden, now 19 months, from an orphanage in Vietnam.

“Anyone involved in adoptions would be interested” in this film, Ballard said.

The documentary will screen at the Princess Twin at 46 King St. N. on Jan. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Although admission is free, a ticket is required. The event is being held as a fundraiser for the Vietnam Education Society, a Canadian-based non-profit group that builds schools in Vietnam.

To reserve a seat and or make a donation go to www.eventbrite.com/event/1089218883.

After the show, a discussion will be held featuring Ballard and his wife, Sarah Ballard, and Jared Rehberg, a cast member and the film’s associate producer.

The film coincides with a panel discussion on Jan. 21 at the University of Waterloo starting at 6:30 p.m. The panellists include three adult adoptees from Vietnam and Korea.

OPERATION BABYLIFT to Screen at University Of California-Irvine

Dallas, TX – To commemorate the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and Operation Babylift, Dallas based non-profit ATG Against the Grain Productions is honored to screen Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at the University of California – Irvine. The award-winning documentary screening takes place on Friday, May 14th from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm  at UC Irvine Schneiderman Lecture Hall, Room 100A.

Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam tells the significant, yet untold story of the $2 million U.S. initiative that airlifted over 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of a war-torn country from the impending threat of the Communist regime. These adoptees grew up facing unique challenges in America, including prejudice overshadowed by a controversial war and cultural identity crisis. Featuring compelling and insightful interviews of the volunteers, parents and organizations directly involved, the documentary takes a contemporary look at Operation Babylift and its relevance to international adoption today.

Lee Ngo, UC Irvine PhD student in the department of anthropology and organizer of the event, reflected upon the theme of cultural identity found in Tammy Nguyen Lee’s feature documentary. “With respect to the heated debates over interpreting the aftermath of the Vietnam War, it’s hard to choose a subject of analysis that manages to supersede many of the cultural politics of representation and identity. Tammy does exactly this through her diligent and powerful documentary,” said Ngo. “I think anyone that’s interested in formations of ethnic identity, an alternative to the hegemonic American perspective in contemporary Vietnamese history, and the complexity of international altruism should see this film. It is certainly one of the highlights of the 2009 Vietnamese International Film Festival,” said Ngo.

There will also be a Q&A following the screening with the film’ producer and director, Tammy Nguyen Lee.   “We had our world premiere at ViFF and are thrilled to return to Southern California to share this inspiring story during what is a most significant month for our community’s history,” said Lee, a MFA graduate from UCLA’s Producers Program.

The free community screening is sponsored by the UCI Department of Anthropology, UCI Vietnamese American Coalition (VAC), UCI Asian Pacific Student Association (APSA) and the Union of Vietnamese Students Association of Southern California (UVSA). Tammy Nguyen Lee is a first generation Vietnamese American and founded ATG Against the Grain Productions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, to promote Asian American cultural awareness through compelling media projects, while also raising funds for international orphanages. This is her feature documentary directorial debut. For more information please visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com. Additional information for the UCI community screening is available at www.TheBabylift.com or www.vietfilmfest.com.

OPERATION BABYLIFT in Bayshore Courier News

Our upcoming community screening in New Jersey of Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam is in the Bayshore Courier News. To see the original article, please visit their website.

Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam
Bayshore Courier News
Posted:04/19/10

Click on picture to Zoom
Operation_babylift_small

Holmdel – On April 3, 1975, United States President Gerald R. Ford announced that “Operation Babylift” would fly some of the estimated 70,000 Vietnamese babies and children who were left orphaned by the Vietnam War to safety in America. Thirty flights, combining private and military planes, transported at least 2,000 children to the United States and another 1,300 children to Canada, Europe and Australia. These children, born in a war-torn land, grew up as members of international, adoptive families.

On Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will host a screening, followed by a group discussion, of the 2009 Award-Winning Film, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Operation Babylift. Many of the adoptees, organizers, family and friends involved in Operation Babylift will be in attendance to celebrate the 35th anniversary.

There will also be an honor guard procession recognizing those who did not survive the humanitarian mission known as Operation Babylift. This program will be held at the Vietnam Era Educational Center in Holmdel, NJ.

Guest speakers will include event organizer and author Lana Mae Noone and her daughter Jennifer Nguyen Noone, MSW, who she adopted through Babylift. Dr. Robert Ballard, a professor at Waterloo University (Ontario, Canada) and a Babylift Adoptee, and his wife Sarah who specializes in international adoption will also speak. The director of Project Reunite Trista Goldberg, also a Babylift Adoptee, will discuss her Babylift story. The nationally acclaimed author of The Life We Were Given, Dana Sachs will be present to address the audience. Retired U.S. Army Medic Ron Speight, a Vietnam Era veteran, will provide a dialogue about Operation New Life, a humanitarian program for Vietnam adults. There will be a Vietnamese and American musical performance by Lana Mae Noone prior to the film screening. The cast and crew of Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam including Producer/Director Tammy Nguyen Lee and Associate Producer Jared Rehberg will be present for a question and answer period. The documentary, which was partly filmed in New Jersey, tells the contemporary story of the adoptees as adults. Several of the day’s speakers are featured in the film. Book signings and a reception with the opportunity to view Operation Babylift artifacts will follow the film screening. The event schedule is available for view on njvvmf.org. The program is dedicated to all those who did not survive Operation Babylift.

Attendees are asked to RSVP to (732) 335-0033. Regular admission applies. Regular admission is free for veterans and active-duty military personnel. Regular adult admission is $4.00; student and senior citizen admission is $2.00; and children under 10 are admitted free. The Vietnam Era Educational Center is located adjacent to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial off the Garden State Parkway at exit 116. The Educational Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm.

OPERATION BABYLIFT screens this Friday 4/23 at NYU

The Asian/Pacific/American Institute of New York University will host a screening and discussion of the award-winning documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm this Friday, April 23rd at the Cantor Film Center, located at 36 East 8th Street, Theater 101, New York .  The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. RSVP via the A/P/A Institute website, email apa.rsvp@nyu.edu or call 212-992-9653.

Operation Babylift was a $2 million U.S. initiative that airlifted more than 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of a war-torn country in 1975 to protect them from the impending threat of the Communist regime. Called one of the “most humanitarian efforts in history,” it was plagued by lawsuits and political turmoil.

The documentary, released in 2009, takes a candid look at Operation Babylift as seen through the eyes of the volunteers, parents and organizations directly involved. It uncovers the lost stories of the adoptees and who they have become as adults, revealing their compelling struggles and triumphs and giving them the opportunity to finally share their journeys from their perspectives.

This event celebrates the 35th anniversary of Operation Babylift and joins conversations about child rescue and adoption that have intensified in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti. A post-screening panel will discuss Operation Babylift as well as the issues faced by adoptees from Asia.

Panelists include:

Tammy Nguyen Lee, Filmmaker, Operation Babylift

Jared Rehberg, Associate Producer and adoptee participant, Operation Babylift

Tara Leaman, Associate Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and adoptee participant, Operation Babylift

Marissa Martin, President of Also-Known-As, Inc.

Lili Johnson, NYU Student, Dept of Social & Cultural Analysis, and adoptee from China

Moderated by Laura Chen-Schultz, Deputy Director, A/P/A Institute at NYU

The screening is made possible by support from the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History/Center for Religion and Media .Co-sponsored by Familes with Children from China of Greater New York and Also Known As, Inc.

To RSVP, visit the A/P/A Institute Operation Babylift Event Page.

More information about the documentary is available at TheBabylift.com.

OPERATION BABYLIFT: THE LOST CHILDREN OF VIETNAM to Screen at 35th Anniversary Celebration of Operation Babylift

DALLAS, TX –The 35th anniversary celebration of Operation Babylift will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 24 at the New Jersey Vietnam Era Educational Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. Dallas-based nonprofit organization ATG Against the Grain Productions will provide a community screening of its award-winning documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at 1 p.m. in the Testimony Theater. Filmmaker Tammy Nguyen Lee will join adoptee and associate producer Jared Rehberg in a Q&A following.

Operation Babylift is Tammy Nguyen Lee’s feature directorial debut and tells the story of how more than 2,500 orphans were airlifted out of Vietnam during the last days of the Vietnam War and their tumultuous journey growing up in America.  The documentary incorporates a historical and contemporary view of this little known and controversial part of American history in 1975, featuring compelling interviews from a cross-section of adoptees, their parents and volunteers, as well as archival and rare home video footage.

“This is a very special celebration that brings together so many who were affected by Operation Babylift,” said Tammy Nguyen Lee. “We are grateful to be a part of this event that remembers such an important part of our history.”

“The 35th anniversary of Operation Babylift is a special time for adoptees to reflect on their past and think about their unique journey from Vietnam to America,” said Jared Rehberg.

“I believe the April 24th program is a culmination of the Operation Babylift Diaspora, 35 years later. This is a program that will be informative, insightful, enjoyable and a once-in-a-lifetime assemblage of Vietnamese adoptees (VADs), OB participants, and Vietnam Veterans,” said Lana Noone, adoptee mother and moderator of the event. “I’m delighted we’ll screen Tammy’s film, and the speakers we’ve assembled will give voice to several perspectives on OB. It’s truly a “not-to-be-missed” event for all!” For more details about the event, visit www.njvvmf.org/35thanniversaryofbabylift.

ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian-American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam has received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com

Aloha! OPERATION BABYLIFT Screens at HIFF This Weekend!

Dallas non-profit ATG Against the Grain Productions proudly presents Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam at the  2010 Hawaii International Film Festival Spring Showcase!

The film makes its Big Island premiere, screening at 11:30 am on Sunday, April 18th at the Regal Dole Cannery, located at 735 Iwilei Road in Honolulu, HI. Don’t miss the documentary that won Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival.

Ticket and screening information is available at the HIFF website.

Tammy Nguyen Lee to Join Vietnamese Filmmakers at Cinema Symposium 5

Tammy Nguyen Lee, ATG Against The Grain Productions President and filmmaker,  joins several other Vietnamese filmmakers and creatives at the Cinema Symposium 5 panel discussion held from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m on Sunday, April 18, 2010 at UCLA. Tammy will stream in live from Dallas, TX to  share her perspective on producing her award-winning documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam. Read below for more info:

Cinema Symposium 5 Unites Filmmakers, from Established to Emerging, Local to Global

HIDDEN GENIUS’s Top Five Films To Be Screened at Cinema Symposium 5
Los Angeles, Calif. – UCLA’s Vietnamese Language and Culture (VNLC) and the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) present the fifth biennial Cinema Symposium titled “Operation Greenlight: Breaking into the World of Vietnamese Cinema.” Cinema Symposium 5 will be held on Sunday, April 18, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Dodd Hall 121 on the UCLA campus. Admission is free and open to the public. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.

The symposium will feature 11 distinguished guests. Our panel includes: Kieu Chinh (Actress/Producer, “Journey from the Fall,” “Sad Fish”, “Time”), Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo (Director, “Buffalo Boy”, “Don’t Look Back”), Mark Tran (Director, “All About Dad”), Orchid Lam Quynh (Actress, “Sad Fish”), Minh Duc Nguyen (Director, “Touch”), Nadine Truong (Director, “Shadow Man”), Danny Do (Producer, “Just Kidding Films”). As a special feature, we will also be streaming “Live” from Saigon the production team from “De Mai Tinh” [Fool for Love], with Dustin Nguyen, Irene Trinh, and Charlie Nguyen. Also joining us “Live” from Dallas, Texas, is director Tammy Nguyen Lee of “Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam.”

The esteemed panelists will be discussing the “ins” and “outs” of Vietnamese filmmaking, producing, and distributing. They will offer advice and speak about their experiences in the making of films and short videos in both Vietnam and Vietnamese America. The panel discussion will be followed by a lively Q & A. Shortly thereafter, please join us for the screening of the “Hidden Genius” competition entries.

“Hidden Genius” is an exciting short film competition open to emerging filmmakers. After months of screening and deliberation, the selection committee nominated five short films for the Grand Jury Award, sponsored by the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA), and the Audience Award, sponsored by Coco Paris LLC. These films hail from four countries — the United States, Canada, Australia, and Vietnam — and, in spite of the specific qualifications of this competition, vary immensely in subject matter and aesthetics. Patrick Bergeron’s “Loop Loop” is an experimental panorama filmed from a train ride in Hanoi. Justin Quoc Dang’s “Dice” is a thrilling lesson on the ephemeral nature of glory. Minh Duc Hoang Tran’s “Closed…!” explores the mounting tension between an alienated wife and her oblivious husband. Hoa Vu’s “Water Me” is a tongue-in-cheek memoir of a vacation in Vietnam among friends. Last, Huy Vu’s “Thinking of You” is a lush vignette about a quirky flower shop girl and the elusive “object” of her desire. These films, deriving from the furthest corners from our base in southern California, demonstrate that Vietnamese is indeed a “globalized” nationality, hence the theme of this year’s Cinema Symposium 5 – “Operation Greenlight: Breaking into the World of Vietnamese Cinema.”

Cinema Symposium was created in 2002 by VAALA and VNLC and is held every other year at UCLA. The forum seeks to create connections between Vietnamese American professionals working in the film industry and students with an interest in film and Vietnamese culture. Cinema Symposium alternates yearly with the Vietnamese International Film Festival (ViFF), which is also biennial. It works to promote works that are by or about Vietnamese Americans. The event also highlights the achievements of professionals in front of and behind the camera. These artists’ accomplishments in this highly competitive industry continue to pave the way for other Vietnamese Americans and are inspirational to many in the community.

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Meet and greet; refreshments served
3:00 – 3:10 p.m. Opening remarks
3:10 – 3:30 p.m. Showcase of trailers/clips
3:30 – 5:15 p.m. Panel discussion
5:15 – 5:30 p.m. LIVE streaming from Saigon with Để Mai Tính team
5:30 – 5:35 p.m. LIVE streaming from Dallas with Tammy Nguyen Lee
5:36 – 6:00 p.m. Screning of Hidden Genius’s five finalists
6:00 – 6:15 p.m. Break
6:15 – 7:00 p.m. Awards presentation

Moderated by Lee Ngo and Daniel Pham

FUNDED BY:
Funded by USA/BOD and Coco Paris LLC

For more info, visit:
www.vnlc.org
www.vaala.org
www.VietFilmFest.com