Directed by Dianne Griffin, Erica Jordan
This timely documentary follows a Vietnamese immigrant’s life-changing journey from her vibrant nail salon to the steps of Congress, becoming the first person to testify for safe cosmetics in over 30 years.
Painted Nails brings us unprecedented insight into the personal nature of the political movement to regulate one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. The documentary follows Van Nguyen, a nail salon owner and worker in the Mission District of San Francisco, who serves an ethnically diverse group of working class women with acrylic nails and intricate airbrush designs. However, lack of oversight has allowed the cosmetics industry to pour unregulated amounts of toxic chemicals into nail products, some of which are known to cause reproductive harm, cancer, and respiratory illness. After learning that her near- daily exposure to these chemicals has caused her life-threatening health problems, Van becomes a resolute activist in the fight to regulate chemicals in personal care products, advocating for the safety of nail salon workers and their clientele.
Providing a unique glimpse into the world of women, their nails, and the people who paint them, Painted Nails takes us from the simple pleasures of manicures to Van and her family’s fulfilling transformation.
Post Screening Panel:
Dianne Griffin, Director/Co-producer, PAINTED NAILS
Erica Jordan (co-producer/director) is an award-winning independent filmmaker whose documentary In Plain Sight premiered at 2014 Mill Valley Film Festival and won the 2016 Impact Docs Award. Jordan’s feature films Walls of Sand and In the Wake have screened and received awards at film festivals throughout the world. She is currently in post-production on a new documentary, Bound to Freedom about modern-day slavery.
Dianne Griffin’s (co-producer/director) feature documentary White Hotel premiered at the New Directors New Film Series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Film Society of Lincoln Center and was distributed worldwide by Jane Balfour Films LTD, London, England. Griffin is driven to enter unfamiliar territory, creating intimate connections and telling stories of dignity, suffering and compassion, which move us to act.