Jeannie Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American filmmaker born and raised in San Jose.
<< Sigh Gone stemmed from a personal experience that I’m sure many people have felt—the tragedy of losing your phone. I remember my hand aching when jotting down directions on scratch paper, “1.6 miles bear right on fork on La Brea...” —should I write the directions coming back or am I capable of backtracking? And if I were to get lost? Should I just stay home? So… pathetic.
From this tragic event, the idea of creating a playful narrative on phone dependency dawned on me. The motivation is to have viewers take a step back and question their relationship with their devices. To dig a bit deeper, I felt the perfect twist was to lead viewers to believe that Thuy is longing for a living, breathing, human being, because the more I thought about the things we yearn for in a companion—knowledge, guidance, entertainment—the more I realized how amazing my iPhone is.
As a Vietnamese-American filmmaker, I knew right away that this story should take place in my parents home city. Thuy’s minimal, serene home juxtaposed with the hustle and bustle of Saigon is my understanding on how one would feel when taken out of their comfort zone. I fell in love with the country since my first visit—the rich history in the architecture, the FOOD (is the best), the kindness of people. I have yet to see a narrative short highlighting Vietnam so this was my chance to share all it’s beauty with the world.
Although Sigh Gone is quirky love story between a girl and her device, it is deeply rooted by my love for Vietnam. It allowed me to connect with my cultural ties, deepen my relationships and appreciate my existence. As a filmmaker, I hope my perspective sheds light on the underrepresented and leaves viewers questioning our humanity… before it’s too late. >>