The San Francisco Diasporic Vietnamese Film Festival is the first-ever Bay Area film festival exclusively featuring Vietnamese filmmakers and performers. Slated for April 23 at the Coppola Theater at San Francisco State University, it features, among many familiar faces for the Vietnamese community, a film by Minh Nguyen, a UC Berkeley alumnus, about a romance between a married car mechanic and a Vietnamese-American manicurist.

The film, called “Touch,” stars artist and actor Long Nguyen, the director's older brother, who is known to movie audiences from films like "When Heaven and Earth Change Places" and " Journey From the
Fall" and TV series CSI New York.

The festival is the brainchild of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Netword (DVAN), headed by SF State University associate professor Isabelle Pelaud.

"Since 1975, as a result of the upheavals of conflict, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese have emigrated from their homelands to other countries, creating a diaspora of Vietnamese people around the globe. This diaspora’s cultural productions are richly articulated and nuanced—and film is no exception," notes Vietnamese American cultural website Diacritics. "Through narrative, documentary, and experimental genres, the San Francisco Diasporic Vietnamese Film Festival will center the filmed
histories, communities, identities, and imaginaries of those in Vietnam and in the diaspora—a transnational vision reflecting a transnational reality."

The all-day festival features 13 films from nine directors in the United States, Australia, Germany, England and Vietnam.

Andrew Lam is author of "
East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres" and "Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora." He will be at the film festival to moderate a conversation with actors, Long Nguyen and Bety Le from the movie, Touch after its showing.