After unfinished appointments due to the pandemic, TimTay finally had the opportunity to meet, chat and save with the most natural images. The set of photos was taken by Barack Huy at locations familiar to Hai Anh in Saigon. She took us to coffee, bought craft notebooks at Reading Cabin , and then walked together to her favorite luncheon nearby. The group continues to wander through the Air , where she often stops to pick up movies and watch movies outdoors.
One of the many reasons for TimTay to decide to invite Hai Anh to appear in the Portraits column of TimTay Tell this time, must be mentioned the interesting of &NON - the program in which this girl holds the position of co-founder, ideation and production. We invite you to listen to our story.
France & Vietnam, where does Hai Anh choose to live and work?
I grew up in France and will always consider Paris as my home. I recently moved to Vietnam because I fell in love here and I am now making Saigon my second home.
What fate brought Hai Anh to a career in filmmaking?
I was actually born thanks to cinema. My mother and my dad lived in two different continent for 40 years before they met each other at a film festival in Paris. My mom, who grew up in Vietnam, was invited to Créteil International Women's Film Festival to show her movie “Gánh xiếc rong" and my dad, a Vietnamese who grew up in France, was there to translate and show her around. I always imagine that they fell in love in this movie theater. When we zoom out, my grandparents on both side were also filmmakers and movie producers so I guess it was fate. I believe my love for movies and storytelling in general is in my blood, something very Vietnamese and also specific to my family. It was obvious that I would go that path.
Share about a Vietnamese movie title that you are interested in? Why?
I really liked Leon Lê's Song Lang. As someone who also grew up abroad, I really appreciate this love letter he made to his motherland and to his first love, the art of cai luong. I especially like how the relationship between the two main characters was depicted, and shows that the feeling of being attracted to another person is universal. That movie was a pleasure to the eyes but also made me feel all kinds of emotions and that’s what I look for in a movie.
To date, what has been the biggest change in your pursuit of filmmaking?
I graduated from Film School just before the pandemic in December 2019 and I'm now working on my first movie. In between, I worked on another storytelling format that I am passionate about which is comic books. I always wanted to tell my mom's teenager life during the Vietnamese war and how it affected our mother-daughter relationship but film didn’t feel the right format to do it. So I wrote a comic book called SỐNG that my best friend, Pauline Guitton, is illustrating. We just signed with Ankama, a big French book publisher and we happy to announce that SỐNG is scheduled to be publish next year. That is my biggest milestone until today because I get to tell the story I want and with all these incredible women I have in my life. I already consider it as my biggest life success.
How did "&NỐI" come into being? Through "&NỐI", what does Hai Anh want to convey?
&NỐI adventure started during the pandemic in 2020, it's a serie of filmed interviews where we invite inspiring guests to share about their inspiration through their life & career, to remember all their favorite pop culture picks from their childhood to today.
We are a team of four people but it started with my friend Hồng Anh and I only at first. We met when I moved to Vietnam while co-directing Nodey x Suboi Đôi Khi Behind the scenes. We are both European Việt Kiều female filmmakers born in the 90s who moved to Saigon to connect with our Vietnamese side. We bonded over sharing our weekly favorite cultural picks: songs, movies, music videos, books… These are like our fuel that makes us keep going everyday, always out for more inspiring artworks that moves us. &NỐI is an outlet for us to share that with more people, first within our small team and with a wider audience. We believe that art & pop culture is a great and simple way to connect people around the world.
According to Hai Anh, what is the relationship between fashion and cinema?
Fashion and movies are both arts & an industry. They both require a really strong vision initially that can bring emotions out of people but it only comes to reality with incredible teamwork. When it's done well, it makes people's lives better.
What is your daily outfit like?
My friends say I always look like I'm going to the beach, I guess it's because I wear a lot of cozy and simple dresses. I like to have pieces of clothes in my wardrobe that I can easily throw on and look put together without having to think too much in the morning.
Do you have any clothes or accessories that are particularly favorite or “unsettling” to you?
These days, I always wear my jade bracelets that a very special woman gave to me. She's been collecting jewelry all her life and these flat jade bracelets are no longer produced which make them extra special to me. I recently broke them in a bike accident and had them repaired with bits of white gold.
My current second favorite item is my “adventure hat” from Muji. Under the sun, I easily get migraines which make my life harder so I need hats to protect me. I bought this hat last year before a documentary project that was canceled last minute because of a pandemic. During lockdown at home, I was contemplating that hat and looking forward to wearing it, cause as much as I am a homebody, I always fancy adventure to stay inspired.
Hai Anh's two "unseparated" items
Pair of pearl necklaces given by a special woman
Muji's "Exploration Hat"
What is your impression of TimTay?
What Hai Anh likes about TimTay's designs is the simplicity but still very unique . They always have a certain highlight that makes the outfit so special. It's great to know about other projects like workshops that encourage people to do more crafts, TimTay Tell, activities towards sustainability like free repair and exchange…
What do "&CONNECT" and TimTay have in common?
It is a passion and a constant search for a better lifestyle for the community.
Interviewer Hoang Anh
Barack Huy's photo
Thank you to Reading Cabin , Khong Trung Drink & Screen for enthusiastically supporting TimTay to complete this set of photos.