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Forty years after the Fall of Saigon, a young Vietnamese woman is among the Vietnam War's uncounted casualties. Born near fields where American planes sprayed Agent Orange, Thao lives with severe physical deformities. Halfway around the world, a woman in New York is struggling to cope after the sudden death of her famed younger sister. In the midst of her crippling depression, a friend shows Elizabeth a black-and-white photograph from a recent trip abroad. The image haunts Elizabeth. It shows Thao sitting in a wheelchair outside a shed that houses pig feed, fertilizer -- and books. Despite her disabilities, Thao had set up a makeshift library for children in her village. The photographer who captured the image had asked, “If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?” Thao replied, “Three hundred dollars, so I could buy more books.” Through this simple request, Thao and Elizabeth are brought together, forging an unlikely sisterhood, transcending language and culture. The two women reflect on the past and confront the present, changing both lives forever.

AMC Theatres Nationwide Release October 2015









Elizabeth Van Meter

Elizabeth Van Meter

Writer | Director | Co Producer | 2nd Camera  Elizabeth Van Meter

Van Meter’s documentary work has taken her from the Andes Mountains of Peru to the Tohoku
region of Japan (Hand in Hand, Lincoln Center 2014). Elizabeth directed/prod. 40 short films for
Gorgeous Entertainment documenting the lives of Japanese Americans. Ms. Van Meter also
founded The Purpose Project, an organization searching out individuals who are bringing forth
change in their communities, helping them achieve a dream and sharing their stories. She premiered
her solo multi-media piece, The Purpose Project: Thao’s Library, at the Cherry Lane Theater, NYC,
with versions appearing throughout the US. Elizabeth is a graduate of UNCSA.

Stephen M. Katz

Stephen M. Katz

Director of Photography   Stephen Katz

Stephen is a staff photojournalist for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, VA. Before landing at The Virginia-Pilot, Katz’s photography career began at a twice-weekly newspaper in Ashland, Virginia, then moving on to Director of Photography for a chain of daily Media General newspapers in northern Virginia, followed by Photo Editor of The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, VA, and Senior Photographer at the Bangor (Maine) Daily News.

Katz’s work, shot throughout the United States and over fifty countries, including two war zones, has been published in several magazines and books and extensively exhibited. In 2008, Katz was selected from the top photographers worldwide to be named Newspaper Photographer of the Year (POY) by Pictures of the Year International. He has received numerous national and international photography awards, including top honors from the National Press Photographers Association’s (NPPA) Northern and Southern Short Courses, The Associated Press, Society of Newspaper Design and NPPA’s international Best of Photojournalism competition.

Leandro Badalotti

Leandro Badalotti

Editor | Co Producer | Additional Video   Leandro Badalotti

Leandro's directorial debut, the feature film New Immigrants, which documents the lives of recent arrivals to his hometown in southern Brazil, was chosen for funding in 2008 by the Brazilian Culture Fund and premiered on Brazilian public television. The following year he shot and edited Volume Um: Em Bom Som, a feature documentary about local rock bands from the 1980′s and ’90s in Southern Brazil.

Throughout 2011, Badalotti contributed as associate producer on several award winning projects at MediaStorm, including an Emmy nomination for A Darkness Visable: Afghanistan.

In 2012, Leandro joined director Simon Schorno and photographer Tara Todras-Whitehill to shoot video in south Yemen and associate produce the award winning short documentary, I Know Where I’m Going, for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Producer: Hammy Features
Executive Producers: Gorgeous Artists & Andrew Dragoumis
Co Producers: Elizabeth Van Meter & Leandro Badalotti
Associate Producers: Amber Ford, Jennifer Wiley Stockton & Laurie Brown Kindred
2nd camera: Elizabeth Van Meter, Chris Tyree, Kyle McKeveny
Additional Video: Leandro Badalotti
Still Photography: Stephen M. Katz & James Van Meter
Vietnam Fixers: Hillary Brown & Mr. Dat
Translators in Vietnam: Vanessa Degenhardt, Duong Huy Duc, Tu Nguyen
Field Manager in Vietnam: Amber Ford
Driver in Country: Mr. Lai
Boom Operator/Field Sounds in Vietnam: Amber Ford
Music provided by: Ah2 & Elias Music
Post Production Sound Services: Pete Serenita at ProMedia
Original Song: Back to Shore by David Sicherman
Transcription: Tan T. Vo, Duc Nguyen, Hoa Vu
Copy Editor: Corinne Van Meter
Animation: Sarah Riazati
Graphics: Joe Fuller
Cast: Thanh Thao Huynh, Vicki Van Meter, Elizabeth Van Meter, Nguyen Thi Xuan, Huynh Van Ru, Huynh Tieu Thu, Stephen M. Katz, Vanessa Degenhardt,     Le Phat An, Nguyen Van Thuong, Duong Huy Duc, Le Thi Cam Tien, Nguyen Thi Nhu Hao, Pham Tan Loc, Nguyen Thi Bich Nhu, Vo Trang


This was such a beautiful, inspiring film! You all have restored my faith in humanity!
— Leslie S., Boston MA
Absolutely brilliant film, must see! Such an inspiration.
— Gabra Z., New York NY
I am still trying to form the words to say how this documentary moved every cell in my body. Saying this piece of work was inspiring would be a complete understatement. Every person needs to experience this movie and if they did, the world might change. WOW!
— Carrie F, New York, NY
If you want real, go see Thao’s Library. If you want raw, go see Thao’s Library. If you want to rave about a film go see Thao’s Library!!!
This film is simply a must see. It’s filled with life, love, learning, & laughter...who would want to miss out on that?! My cup runneth over in friendship & inspiration. Thao’s Library is without a doubt the best film I have ever seen.
— Kali S., New York, NY
Go see Thao’s Library - one of the most extraordinary documentaries I have seen in years.
— Laurie D., Twitter
I loved absolutely every second of the film.
— Jason M, Pittsburgh, PA
If you are looking for something to do this weekend, there’s this extraordinary independent movie, Thao’s Library, beautiful story, that touches your heart in so many ways; story of courage, healing, love and life.... Lots of pain and lots of love in it. It plays at AMC 24 Disney just for couple of days. Go see it! It will make your heart full.
— Iwona B., Orlando , FL
What a courageous and beautiful story told by an empowering individual Elizabeth Van Meter. A timely story of unselfish love and heroism — from one person to another. Definitely a film that you need... as much as it needs you. Please support and help yourself in the process.
— Justin F, New York, NY
Thoroughly moved and engaged by this remarkable story! Brava to everyone involved!
— - Michael S., New York NY
Sending standing ovations your way. It is a beautiful amazing documentary.
— Mary K, Phoenix, AZ
Loved it soo much! I am trying to spread the word so others can see the beauty in your friendship and giving!
— Andrea C., Orlando FL
Thao’s Library was exactly the uplift I needed after a tiresome few months. So much love packed in one film. See it if you can!
— - Conor P., New York NY
Absolutely amazing documentary!! Thao’s library definitely a movie to see!
— Jason D, New York, NY
This film is a beautiful portrait of the lives of two very separate women coming together to create a moving and unexpected bond. Witnessing Elizabeth Van Meter’s bold choices in the face of unspeakable emotional pain made me want to do more with my life. Watching she and Thao fall in love made me want to make more of my relationships.
It was beautiful on every level and I am inspired.
— Tiffany C, Durham NC
I can’t tell you how much Thao’s Library struck me, as I just saw the very first screening here in Burbank. I plan to go a couple more times this weekend with friends, so maybe then I’ll be able to put into words how much it has affected me and how impressed I am. Right now I just feel like I’ve been kicked in the stomach (in a good way).
— Drek L, Los Angeles, LA
Thao’s Library, amazing inspiration and a beautiful gift to our world.
— - Way Z., New York NY
A wonderful story that should be shared with all. Go see it!
— - Blaze M., New York NY
Absolutely inspiring and moving, both Thao and Elizabeth’s journey and friendship is so beautiful. GO SEE IT!
— Stacy S, New York, NY
Do yourself a favor and run, don’t walk, to the AMC theater in your city, and watch “Thao’s Library.” Amazing is all I can say.
— Frank P., New York, NY
So in awe. Thao’s Library is incredible and life-changing!
— - Victoria M., New York NY
A beautiful tribute to two beautiful lives, and the thread that connects them.
— Holly T, New York, NY
OMG!! Thao’s Library is amazing!!! I am so moved and inspired!! I think every teenager in American should watch this film!
— Colleen Y, Minneapolis, MN
Incredible documentary. The epitome of not knowing whether to laugh or cry or both at the same time.
— Kevin S, New York, NY
It’s a wonderful movie and I can’t keep thoughts of Thao out of my head. She is truly inspirational.
— - Christopher C., Seattle WA
In a few simple words: such an incredible accomplishment!
— Chad A, Pittsburgh, PA
I’ve had family and close friends take their own lives. It’s hard and confusing and never ever goes away. Last night while watching Thao’s Library, I saw the path, not just to cope, but to engage in making sense of what to do next when your loved one leaves you.
I can’t quite keep it off my mind.
— Randy R., Brentwood, TN
Such an amazing experience to see Elizabeth Van Meter’s documentary. This film is nothing short of BRILLIANT. Such a phenomenal story and film! #thaoslibrary #inspirational
— Victoria M, New York, NY

THAO'S LIBRARY - AMC Empire NYC Testimonials


This adventure is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions payable to Fractured Atlas are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.



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