About this project
UPDATE (May 2, 2012 at 2:08pm PST): Today is my mother Giap's birthday! Congress also chose May 2nd as Vietnamese Refugee Day to commemorate the arrival of Vietnamese refugees in America and document their harrowing experiences. An article about the film also came out today in the local Seymour newspaper: http://www.tribtown.com/view/local_story/Ironing_out_the_past_1335932534.
Finally, today we enter the last two days of the Kickstarter campaign. if you haven't had a chance to back the project, now's the time to do! There's only 44 hours left!! I hope you consider being a part of this film project. Thank you! -tony
UPDATE (May 1, 2012 at 10:45am PST): We just hit $10,000!! Please continue to support with a pledge if you can. The more I am able to raise, the more time and energy I will be able to give to this deeply personal story. Thank you so much! - tony
UPDATE (April 23, 2012): Please help me pass $10,000 by Friday, May 4th, 11am PST! Thank you for your support. - tony
UPDATE (April 11, 2012): I'm thrilled to have reached the goal of $5,000 in only 7 days! I couldn't have done it without all of your support. With more than 20 days left with the Kickstarter, I have a new goal to raise an additional $5,000 for final post-production expenses and distribution of the film (i.e., licensing, Master tapes, DVDs, digital downloads, festival fees, publicity material and outreach.). So please consider making a pledge and helping me reach the new goal of $10,000 by May 4th!! Any amount, however small, will get us there. Thank you for making this film project possible. - tony
GIAP AND THE LAST IRONING BOARD FACTORY is a heartfelt modern tale about the mother-son relationship between Giap Nguyen and Tony Nguyen. Giap is a refugee who fled Vietnam in 1975 while two months pregnant. A single mother who has worked on the grueling assembly line for nearly 35 years, she is finally retiring. Set in Seymour, Indiana, the town John Mellencamp made famous with his iconic rock song “Small Town,” this short documentary provides an intimate look at life inside the last standing ironing-board factory in the United States. Filmmaker Tony Nguyen captures his mother Giap’s last day at the factory and attempts to reconcile an unknown past in this quirky and deeply personal film that explores parental love and the refugee experience in small town America.
THE STORY BEHIND THE FILM: When I found out my mother was finally retiring, I realized how little I knew about her job. I knew she worked in a factory but had no idea she made ironing boards. Returning home and filming my mother’s last day at work just felt like a natural thing to do and a good excuse to visit family in Indiana. I didn't know it would allow me to finally talk with my mother about the past and our relationship.
Initially, I set out to make this film for only family and friends. But with the encouragement of others, especially producer Steven Okazaki, I started to see the merit in sharing this personal story with the wider public.
WHAT’S THE STATUS OF THE FILM? Production on the film is nearly completed, but there is still some crucial footage I need to shoot. I have a 15-minute rough cut that will be edited into a half hour final version with additional new footage. I am also exploring the possibility of using animation to depict parts of the story that focus on my childhood in Indiana.
WHAT’S NEXT: I am raising funds to complete production and to help cover the cost of post-production (editing).
HOW CAN I HELP? This film cannot be completed without your help. Please consider supporting our Kickstarter campaign by making a pledge. Any amount, however small, will make a difference. Thank you!
Here are some sample film stills that will be used for your personalized thank you card:
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