Filmmaker Spotlight: Jeannie Nguyen

First Generation” directed by Jeannie Nguyen is featured on the X1 Asian American destination within the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month mini-destination. We had the chance to ask Jeannie what inspired her filmmaking journey and how her Vietnamese American heritage influences her work.

Photo: Jeannie Nguyen

Tell us about your film featured on X1 this month!

Jeannie Nguyen: The short film “First Generation” revolves around this idea of double consciousness from an Asian American perspective. You’re trying to understand your own identity while wading through the sea of skewed media.

How did you get into filmmaking?

JN: My friend Andrew, who is the Cinematographer for “First Generation,” has been into photography and film for years and it kind of rubbed off onto me. The more I learned about it, the more involved I started to become. Now I obsess over it, I feel I have finally found my passion.

What are some films and/or filmmakers that have inspired you?

JN: Wes Anderson, Roy Andersson, Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Yorgos Lanthimos, Quentin Tarantino, Hiro Murai and Kahlil Joseph.

Do you have a favorite Asian American film?

JN: I can’t think of an Asian American film off the top of my head. “Joy Luck Club” and “Better Luck Tomorrow” are the ones that I can think of. We definitely need to make more of a presence in mainstream media.

Photo: Jeannie Nguyen

How does your Asian heritage influence your work?

JN: I try to incorporate into my films as much as possible without overdoing it. I want to paint an accurate portrayal that Asian Americans can relate to.

What is your outlook on the state of Asian American cinema?

JN: The two Asian American films I named were dated in 1900s to early 2000—I hope to change that.

What’s next for you?

JN: We’re currently in post-production for our second and third short films and pre-production for our fourth. After that, I would like to start working on a feature film idea that takes place in Vietnam.

Photo: Jeannie Nguyen


Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Jeannie Nguyen! Watch the short film First Generation on the X1 Asian American destination or with Xfinity Stream this May.

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For more Filmmaker Spotlights or Asian American news and entertainment visit Xfinity Asian American.