Ha Phuong, a petite dynamo with a huge heart and a big name in her native Vietnam is now a deeply entrenched New Yorker. Living there, she is more determined than ever to help make the world a better place, inspired by her upbringing in Vietnam as well as her love for her two precious daughters, Diana Phuong Chu, 8, and Angelina Tieu Phuong Chu, 6. She answered a few questions about her film Finding Julia.
Can you talk a little bit about Finding Julia - how did the project come about and what inspired you to focus on your personal life?
The project had been in development for 8 years. The first thing I had to do was convince my husband, a successful Vietnamese American entrepreneur, to empathize and support his spouse, a successful Vietnamese artist who willingly put her career on hold to fulfill the responsibility of being a wife and a mother.
I am so passionate about “Finding Julia.” The message I wanted to convey was that the US and Vietnam, once at odds, were able to overcome their differences and peacefully respect one another.
What was the pre/post production process(es) like?
There were so many learning experiences in both the pre and postproduction stages. Film is a collective art that incorporates technology. Being a producer, I sought out talented and idealistic partners who had the desire to deliver this spiritual message to audiences all over the world.
Did you run into any challenges and if so, how did you overcome them?
Yes, I encountered quite a few challenges; nevertheless, the thought of giving up never crossed my mind. With determination, overcoming those challenges was just a matter of time.
What was your favorite part of the film and why?
Towards the end of the movie when Julia is alone backstage, her subconscious voice was disguised as a devil that mocked her as a loser. This is my favorite part because it motivated me (for the past 8 years) to get this film finished. I also enjoyed the nostalgia piece about my singing career -- the stages -- the audiences. I’m sure other artists from different countries who had to leave their career when they were on top of the audience’s heart and mind can relate to these scenes. My third favorite part is the charity work. Those are three parts that are closest to my real life.
Can you talk a bit about the Ha Phuong foundation?
Ha Phuong Foundation is a charity fund dedicated for well-intentioned cases that go unnoticed. There are talented young people with disabilities and I want to support them.
For more information, please visit www.haphuongworld.com.
We'd love to hear more about other charity efforts you've dedicated so much time to.
I’m involved in a lot of charitable efforts. In the past, I’ve helped disabled talent who needed to be trained for skills, knowledge, and musical.
What are you looking forward to this year?
“Finding Julia” has been well received by audiences. Through my art, I hope both nations will recognize the commitment of our whole team to this effort. And of course, I shall continue with new dreams.
Any projects on the horizon?
Yes , I hope to continue making more films, and also focusing on my singing career in the US.