LA based filmmaker Laura Nix met Paul and Millie Cao, the subjects of WALK RUN CHA-CHA, seven years ago at the dance studio where they train. Nix was fascinated by the class's cultural mix where Eastern European instructors are teaching Latin dance to people from the Chinese diaspora in suburban Los Angeles. Over the following six years Nix covered their story from the beginning, where Paul and Millie Cao fell in love as teenagers in Vietnam, through their separation in the Vietnam war, and their final reunion in California where the Caos re-built their lives over decades and cultivated their love in dance.
Nix << I am beyond thrilled that WALK RUN CHA-CHA has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. We just celebrated the day Paul arrived in America as a refugee from Vietnam 40 years ago, and now we’re celebrating an Oscar nomination. I am deeply grateful to Paul and Millie Cao for giving me access to their community over six years of filming. At their dance studio, we see Eastern Europeans teaching Latin dance to people from the Chinese community in suburban Los Angeles, reminding us of the beauty of America’s rich cultural diversity in a moment challenged by anti-immigration policies and sentiment.
I am so grateful to the Academy for recognizing this film, and deeply honored to be in the company of such incredible filmmakers. We share this honor with The New York Times Op-Docs and Concordia Studio without whose support we couldn’t have made this film. >>