My name is Thi Vo and I am a refugee from Vietnam. When I was a year and a half old I fled the country with my mother and eventually ended up in Canada. It took us in with open arms and I have been ever so grateful to be given this opportunity. I was given the freedom to explore my passions, my creative side, and ultimately achieve my dreams.
Over the past seven years I had become extremely interested in filmmaking. For me it is a great avenue to tell stories and to share them with others. At the same time I have gotten more involved with my roots as a Vietnamese-Canadian. I became more present in the Vietnamese Community by taking part in Vietnamese Martial Arts ‘Vovinam’, and helping with New Year celebrations.
My desire to connect with my roots has been growing stronger for a number of years. In 2014, I began to shoot a documentary in search of my biological father. When my mother and I fled Vietnam, my father was left behind; we had been separated for over three decades. My short feature film, ‘Made in Vietnam’ will be showcased at this year’s Calgary Film Festival and will be released in September 2017. I have learnt so much from creating this film, not only from a technical aspect but in terms of creativity. I have grown and improved a lot through this process. I am a student and I yearn to learn. When I was on camera I had to trust my team in order to be organic and authentic but when it came to the post production I had to really remove myself from the subject to make calculated story telling decision. Content is king!
I share my story to not only inspire others but to encourage people to challenge themselves in anyway they can, whether it be for self-discovery or venturing into the unknown. ‘We’ of a minority background should never have any restrictions to achieve what we want to in life.