Created by Derek Nguyen
When two Vietnamese-American children go missing in a low-income Louisiana community in 1985, police detectives unravel a series of brutal murders in a coastal town ravaged by a race war between Vietnamese immigrants and local fishing laborers backed by the Ku Klux Klan. Created by Vietnamese-American playwright and filmmaker Derek Nguyen, Burning Bayou is a true-crime narrative radio play and a film-noir inspired episodic television crime drama.
“I feel that Starfish really understands the needs of storytellers of color and has created a program that addresses the challenges of telling our stories on a large scale,” Derek says of the experience, “being a queer filmmaker of color from a refugee working-class background, I know how hard it is to get our stories made. I’m thrilled by the opportunity to work with Starfish to bring new stories and perspectives out to the world.”
A refugee of the Vietnam war, Derek Nguyen began his career as a playwright and screenwriter before moving into directing and producing. His play MONSTER was produced at East West Players, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and Public Theatre New Work Now, and was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Play by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2016, he wrote and directed THE HOUSEMAID, a Gothic romance/horror feature set in colonial Vietnam. Derek has been helping other artists and storytellers tell their stories and achieve their truest expression for over 20 years. He was the Director of Creative Affairs at GAMECHANGER FILMS and recently launched THE POPULATION with producers Mynette Louie and Mollye Asher. The company focuses on producing feature films by or about women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and other underrepresented groups.
BURNING BAYOU is supported by artists and culture change strategists who actively progress the narrative around Asian Americans.