Refugees' Gratitude to Rescuers
I was seven years old when my family was rescued from the South China Sea in June 1980. We were part of the "Boat People" crisis. We were ten days at sea, lost and depleted of food, water and fuel. Barring a miracle, death was an imminent certainty. That miracle appeared in the form of a liquefied natural gas carrier flying the American flag, the LNG Virgo, an image that forever cemented itself in my mind as being synonymous with life and freedom.
THE QUEST AND THE HOPE
I've spent the better part of my adult life searching for the Captains and crews of the 2 US ships that rescued us: the LNG Virgo with the initial rescue and the USNS Sealift Antarctic with the transfer to Singapore. I’ve located a few officers and others from the same fleet. We met for a reunion last month in Florida. Words cannot adequately describe the emotions as my parents and I embraced our saviors.
MY GOAL AND GRATITUDE
In gratitude, I want to make a documentary that focuses on the lives and heroics of seafarers who rescue people in distress. My goal is to raise $60,000 to fund a documentary. The money will be used to hire a film crew, sound and graphic editors and to cover the costs of traveling to meet and interview the seafarers and their families.
Help me to give these men their proper place in history. Let’s preserve the heroics of the past, recognize the present benevolence and document for the future the truly historic contributions these men make to entire communities for whom existence would not have been possible. This project can demonstrate to the world how we can heal the wounds of war with the compassion of the human spirit.
Finding the Virgo won the Audience's Choice Award! To put the significance of this award into context, over 900 films applied, 200 films from 15 countries were screened. The audience loved Virgo the best.
Thank you for making Virgo possible. I had a simple dream: to make a documentary with the message of compassion and gratitude. The dream was impossible without your help and contribution. You made Virgo as much as I did. Thank you.
Thank you all of you for making this happen! You believed in me and trusted me with this simple and powerful message of compassion and gratitude. Because of you, Virgo will be available to 2 million viewers. Let's hope everyone who sees this movie will see the true heroics of a simple act of compassion. Thank you!
A link to streaming will be shared later. Virgo will be available worldwide for 1 year.
I'm sorry I have been remiss in keeping many of you up to date. There are so many exciting developments to report:
1. Finding the Virgo has amassed 3 awards, 2 nominations, and 5 festivals, 3 tv showings (Hawaii, Oregon, and California)! Hopefully more will come.
2. We will be on TV! For San Francisco Bay Area residents, Virgo will air on KQEH (aka KQED PLUS) on May 14, 2019 at 7 p.m. and May 15, 2019 at 1 a.m. for vampires and insomniacs. Tune in or set your recorders channel 54 for Direct TV and 710 or 10 for Comcast. More dates will be announced for KQED channel 9.
3. #CAMMFest37!, the most prestigious Asian American filmfests, loves our film and has done much to promote it. Barre Fong, director, and I will appear on the Asian Pacific America show on May 5, 2019 at 5:30 a.m. channel 3 or 11 NBC Bay Area. 5:30 a.m. is pre-tequila Cinco de Mayo y'all! Set the DVR.
4. We got a big screen event on May 18, 2019 at the Roxie Theatre in San Francisco. The Roxie is located on 16th and Valencia, in the heart of the hippest neighborhood in the city- The Mission District. Come for pre-show dinner and post show drinks! Film starts at 7 p.m. Purchase tickets here: www.caamfest.com/2019/movies/finding-the-virgo/
Use code CF37FLASH for a discount.
5. The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in Lower Manhattan is sponsoring our film on June 4, 2019. Your ticket gets you admission, the movie, and a glass of wine. Cheers to that! Barre and I will be in New York for this event and will have a Q&A session immediately after the film. It should be a very memorable evening.
Please let us know when it will be aired! Congratulation to you for making this happen. You are determined and amazing!!! Barbara Leicht
Fantastic coverage and fantastic story Lauren! Well done for making it happen!
Great video Lauren. Will be certain to tune in to NPR. Thank you.