Global PR & Social Good Strategist
I’m the oldest child of Vietnamese refugees turned American doctors who spent 42 days on a boat escaping the hardships of their homeland in search of a better life for their 1 year-old daughter and future born son. I’m a publicist, a producer, a cancer survivor, an aspiring photographer and an activist. With over 15 years of experience in feature film publicity and celebrity relations, I now work at the crossroads of entertainment, sports, and philanthropy — combining my skillset with my passions. As an independent Public Relations and Social Good Strategist, I connect global brands and influential personalities to unique experiences.
You are the voice for so many productions that work towards ending bullying and empowering women. Tell us about some of the productions you have helped tell the world about and how they are changing lives.
In 2013, I led the publicity campaign for what ended up being the most viewed TEDWomen Event of the Year, TEDxAustinWomen, out of 220 events across 58 countries. From the success of one of my speaker’s presentations, Lizzie Velasquez’s “How Do You Define Yourself?” I went on to produce and lead the PR campaign for “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story” — the award-winning documentary about Lizzie’s journey from bullying victim turned bullying activist. The film has played in theaters all over the world and has been translated into over a dozen different languages — proving that bullying has no boundaries. After the film’s release, I helped spearhead a Bullying Prevention campaign where I invited celebrities to stand with Lizzie against bullying which included America Ferrera, Octavia Spencer, Chris Hemsworth, Katie Couric, Michelle Phan, Kylie Jenner, Zachary Quinto, and the World Champion Golden State Warriors among others. Most recently, I was a producer on “Protect Her,” a four-part documentary film program developed to revolutionize education around sexual assault prevention. Aimed particularly at college athletes, the series inspires young men to better respect the girls and women in their lives. Currently, I am producing a cinematic film series for Google to inspire girls in computer sciences, which showcases high-profile actors at the helm of the films and men and women working together at the core of each project.
Best thing about your job?
My work is a combination of everything that I love: entertainment, sports and philanthropy. I always knew that two things would carry my fate and take me to where I wanted to be— hard work and kindness. Those two things were always in my control, they are in everyone’s control, and I firmly believed that if I worked hard and I was kind to people, everything else would fall into place in whatever way it was destined to for me. This isn’t to say that I’ve always gotten the job that I wanted, but I have always gotten the job that was right for me at the time.
Where do you think film and in particular film that advocates for world change is heading? Is there a pendulum swinging where people want to get more educated and involved in ending poverty, corruption and bullying?
From my experience with “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story” I know, without a doubt, that films that advocate for change is something the world is desperately hungry for. People – the younger generation in particular – are much more selective about how they participate in philanthropy these days and how they give, not only their money, but their resources and their time. Additionally, I work with an organization called HARNESS, which was founded by America Ferrera, Ryan Piers Williams, and Wilmer Valderrama, and we strive to help amplify the voices of underrepresented communities. In this current climate, there is no shortage of organizations in need of support and, thankfully in response, an increasing number of influencers and new activists who are passionate about using their platforms for good.
Favourite city in the world?
Paris, although Melbourne is a very close second.
Teetotaler or something stronger?
Depends on the day…
Most recent indulgence?
Anything home cooked by my boyfriend’s mother…
Walk, bike or drive?
Who is the one person in the world you would like to sit beside on a long flight and what would you ask her or him? (Or maybe you already did and have a happy story….)
Michelle Obama – so many questions from “What are some of the most valuable lessons you learned from your time in the White House” to “What’s your favorite Beyonce song?”
What would you tell women who are considering going into film?
Learn the job, don’t just act the boss. Always ask “what else can we do?” Champion other women.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
Last book you read?
Ready Player One, which turned into a film directed by Steven Spielberg to be released in 2018.
Favourite cause, group or activist?
Currently, though I am biased, my favorite activist organization is HARNESS (where I serve as Communications + Strategy Officer) founded by America Ferrera, Ryan Piers Williams, and Wilmer Valderrama. We work with a wide variety of front line activists, grassroots leaders, communities and organizations in need. By connecting artists to activists, we harness our energy to power change. Last fall, we were able to inspire the creation of a Sikh character on the NBC Show “This is Us” among other efforts throughout the year that helped shine a light on underrepresented communities. (www.Harness.space)
Web site — www.NgocNguyen.org
Instagram — @LittleNgoc
Favourite cause — Children’s Education