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Be Water


About the Screening



Told through archive and the voices of those who knew him best, Be Water is not just an intimate look at Bruce Lee’s life but also the seismic yet difficult journey that led a young Asian American man to his emergence as a singular icon in the global histories of film, martial arts, and race.

Digital conversation with Director/Producer Bao Nguyen and Producer Julia Nottingham, moderated by Eric Kohn, Executive Editor & Chief Critic at IndieWire. Close-captioned and ASL interpreted.

Panelist Bio

Bao Nguyen, Director

Bao Nguyen is an LA-based filmmaker whose first short JULIAN won a CINE Golden Eagle Award, the Best Student Documentary Short at the Palm Springs, Special Jury Prize at DOC NYC, and was nominated for an IDA Award. He produced the documentary feature ONCE IN A LULLABY which premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival and won the Audience Award at the Woodstock Film Festival. His feature documentary directorial debut, LIVE FROM NEW YORK!, about Saturday Night Live, opened the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast nationally on NBC. His latest film, BE WATER, a documentary about Bruce Lee premiered in competition at 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was invited to SXSW, Cannes, Telluride, and Hot Docs. He is an alum of the PBS/WGBH Producers Workshop, Berlinale Talents, and Firelight Media Doc Lab. He earned his BA at NYU and his MFA at the School of Visual Arts.

Julia Nottingham, Producer

Julia’s past credits include BE WATER dir Bao Nguyen (Sundance 2020) XY CHELSEA dir: Tim Travers Hawkins (Tribeca 2019), SKATE KITCHEN Dir: Crystal Moselle featuring Jaden Smith (Sundance 2018), KINGDOM OF US Dir: Lucy Cohen (LFF 2017) which won the Grierson Best Doc prize and was nominated for Outstanding Debut at BAFTA 2018, TROPHY (Sundance 2017) Dir: Shaul Schwarz which won an Emmy for Outstanding Nature Documentary , ALL THESE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS (Sundance 2016) which won Best Director at the festival and THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS ( SXSW 2014) Dir: Edward Lovelace and James Hall. In 2018 Julia was named by Screen International as a Future Leader. Before setting up Dorothy Street Pictures Julia worked in the film department at Pulse Films (AMERICAN HONEY, 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH) running their feature doc slate. 

Director(s): Bao Nguyen
Distributor: ESPN Films
Producer(s): Julia Nottingham, Bao Nguyen, Gentry Kirby, Erin Leyden, Adam Neuhaus