In Painted Nails we witness the American dream crumble when Van, a Vietnamese nail salon worker, discovers her health problems, including two miscarriages, are the result of toxic chemicals in the products used in her salon. She courageously becomes involved in the fight for safe cosmetics.

Painted Nails enters the rich culture of Vietnamese-American Van Hoang’s bustling nail salon in the Mission District of San Francisco. The salon caters to a diverse clientele, women of African American, European, Latino, and Asian ethnicities, who come not only for the acrylic nails with original designs—each a miniature painting that might include gold stars, glittering palm fronds, or frolicking blue dolphins—but also for the caring environment. The salon clients beam as they hold up their vividly colored talons for the camera, in a proud display of their identity as women.

Through the advocacy of nail salon safety groups and the media, the world becomes aware of the toxic chemicals in nail products. The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and Women’s Voices for the Earth invite Van to be a candidate to testify in Washington, DC. In front of the congressional and environmental protection agency staff and the opposing cosmetic industry, Van advocates for the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act with testimony marked by tears she fights to keep back, but which make her words all the more powerful.

Major loopholes in the U.S. federal law dating back to 1938 allow the 50-billion-dollar cosmetics industry to put unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing, monitoring of health effects, or labeling requirements. The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act is designed to give the U.S. FDA authority to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful ingredients and that ingredients are fully disclosed. Van was among the first workers to testify against the cosmetic industry in over 30 years.

Van intends to protect her unborn child, her own health, the health of her family and other salon workers. She wants the world to care about the dangers she and others, who are largely immigrants from Vietnam and other Asian countries, have been facing from unregulated chemicals. Unraveled are the layers of a seemingly shy woman from Vietnam, who realizes she has something powerful to share with the world.

Painted Nails is presented by DigAll Media, a 501(c)(3) San Francisco based non-profit organization, was organized to create media, which deepen public understanding of issues that affect our lives, expand cultural, environmental and global awareness, educate a diverse population, empower the disenfranchised, and initiate personal and social change.

DigAll Media Presents “PAINTED NAILS” Featuring VAN HOANG AND TRIET DANG Associate Producer NHUNG PHAM Music By VANESSA VO, LE CAT TRONG LY, NGUYÊN LÊ Color Finishing GARY COATES Sound Designer and Mixer DAVE NELSON Directed and Produced by ERICA JORDAN AND DIANNE GRIFFIN

Media, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

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Film Festival Screenings:
Cinequest Film Festival 2016
CAAMFest (Center for Asian American Media) 2016
Sabastopol Documentary Film Festival 2016
Viet Film Fest 2016
DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival 2016
DisOrient Asian American Film Festival 2016
39th Asian American International Film Festival 2016
Sunday, July 24 1:30 PM
Location: Village East Cinema
181-189 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

RESERVE TICKETS HERE - Asian American International Film Festival - New York City


“Why I love documentary… I have an idea of what it’s going to be. And then it’s miles bigger, more life changing than I ever thought it could be, the experience of it and the things that people are doing.” – Kim Longinotto


The creative process and community outreach involved in making Painted Nails has enriched Erica Jordan and Dianne Griffin as collaborative filmmakers. Their collaboration has inspired them to approach this documentary with a new lens, yet incorporating styles and techniques they admire in each others’ past work. Jordan’s strong dramatic feature background has given her skills to tell intimate character-driven stories. She used screenwriting techniques to make Painted Nails as engaging to watch as a well-constructed narrative film. Using her experience as a professional video editor, Jordan constructed Painted Nails as a visual story, communicating through juxtaposition, showing, not telling the audience. Deeply rooted in documentary form, Griffin has explored multicultural society and how we perceive and negotiate differences, the stranger, the “other.” With the camera, she has entered unfamiliar territory, creating intimate connections in far lands such as Eritrea. Griffin is thrilled to have this artistic experience in her “backyard” – San Francisco.

Jordan and Griffin could not have made Painted Nails without Nhung Pham’s guidance and dedication. Pham generously shared her skills as coordinator, cultural guide, translator and Vietnamese to English subtitle transcriber making it possible to bring the story of Painted Nails to a wide and diverse audience.

The emotional and cultural layers of Painted Nails were enriched with the mesmerizing music of Emmy award-winning composer and musician Van-Anh Vanessa Vo.

Painted Nails is presented by DigAll Media, a San Francisco based non-profit organization, committed to creating media which deepen public understanding of issues that affect our lives, expand cultural, environmental and global awareness, educate a diverse population, empower the disenfranchised, and initiate personal and social change.

DigAll Media, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Dianne Griffin


Dianne Griffin’s White Hotel, a feature documentary about two women whose objectivity is shattered while documenting an HIV research team in Eritrea, Africa, 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. “This film has a personal and insightful feel unlike other documentaries.” – John Gianvito, Harvard Film Archive’s Cinematique. After screening at numerous international festivals and museums, including United Nation Association Film Festival at Stanford University, White Hotel was distributed worldwide by Jane Balfour Films LTD, London, England. Traveling the world, Griffin has produced and directed many documentaries for world-renowned organizations and companies. For the United Nations, she followed the Mekong River to make Jewels of the Mekong and traversed Nepal for Beyond the Mountain. She worked with Hewlett Packard on their 100 Cameras project, which brought her to Tehran, Iran to document taxi drivers on their rounds through the city. Actively involved in the documentary film community, Dianne Griffin chairs the United Nations Association Film Festival. Griffin is driven to enter unfamiliar territory, creating intimate connections and telling stories of dignity, suffering and compassion, which move us to act.

Please visit for more information.


Painted Nails (2016) feature documentary, with DigAllMedia 501(c)(3)
Simon’s Story Documentary in pre-production (2014) with TrueFlix
Women Empowering Women (2008) Shot in Mongolia, China and Thailand, for Women’s Global Fund
Jewels of the Mekong (2006) Shot in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China, produced for United Nations Development Program
Beyond the Mountain (2005)Shot entirely in Nepal, produced for UN Development Program Film
Film Inside the Bay (2002) Six short profiles about outstanding San Francisco Bay Area film and video professionals produced for Sundance Channel
White Hotel (1997) Feature length Documentary, Eritrea, East Africa, Wake Up! Productions

Selected Presentations

United Nations Development Program – Jewels of the Mekong, Beyond the Mountain, ongoing screenings
Sundance Channel – Film Inside the Bay, televised 2002
Two Boots Den of Cin, White Hotel, New York 2001
Long Beach Museum of Modern Art, White Hotel, 20 Questions: Person, Place or Thing, 1999
United Nations Film Festival, White Hotel, Building a Society for All Ages, Stanford University, CA, 1999
Museum of Modern Art of New York, White Hotel, Selected for New Directors Series, New York, 1997
Women Make Waves (WMW) White Hotel, Film and Video Festival, Taipei, Taiwan 1998
Harvard Film Archive, White Hotel, Reverse Angel Series, Boston, Massachusetts January– February 1997
Zanzibar International Film Festival, White Hotel, Zanzibar, Africa 1998
The Cultural Center of The Philippines Independent Film & Video, White Hotel, Philippines 1998
Black Maria Film and Video Festival, White Hotel, New Jersey 1997
Roxie Cinema, Calendar Screening, San Francisco, California, 1997
Seattle Art Museum and 911 Media Arts Center, White Hotel, Featured Event, Seattle, WA, 1997
Documental, Independent Attitude Series, White Hotel, Santa Monica, California, March 1997
Indiana University, World Aids Day Series, White Hotel, Collection of Wells Media, Indiana, 1997
The Red Vic, Calendar Screening, White Hotel, San Francisco, California, January 4, 1997
Channel 4, London, England 1997
Free Speech TV (FStv), Boulder, Colorado 2000

Permanent Collections

(for White Hotel – feature documentary)
Permanent Collection Library of Congress
African Video Collections – Harvard College Library , Boston Mass
University of Minnesota, Human Rights Library
The Africa Collections at Stanford University
Lemieux Library, Seattle, Washington
James Madison Library, African Collection
Maryknoll World Video Library, JMU Africa Collection
African Collection, University of Idaho, Idaho
University of Washington, AIDS-World Health Collection, Washington
UC Merced Library, Merced, California
Great River Regional Library, New York


The Puffin Foundation Ltd. Artist’s Grant – 2009
Jewish Communal Fund – 2011

Selected Awards

San Francisco Film Society, Film House Residency Award, 2010
Audience Award, Zanzibar International Film Festival, White Hotel, 1998
Selected Colds Springs Workshop, sponsored by Miramax Films, White Hotel, New York, 1996
Honorable Mention, Black Maria Film and Video Festival, White Hotel 1997

Related Experience

Juror – Playground Theatre, Berkeley California, Short Film Competition-The mission of PlayGround is to support the development of new local voices for the theatre 2012
Jury Chairman – Advisory Panel for United Nations Film Festival since inception, 1998-2014
Juror Panelist for the Golden Gate Awards San Francisco International Film Festival, 1995-2008
Documentary Juror for Mill Valley Film Festival, 2001-2008

Board Member

Feed Educate Employ South Africa-2011-2014


THE DREAM ACT -Stanford University- United Nations Film Festival – 2012


Tapeworm 200-2009
Tower Video 2000-2010
Amazon 2000-2014
Distributed World Wide by Jane Balfour Films LTD, out of London, England 1997

Guest Lecturer

Cascade Canyon School, Fairfax, California 2012
California State University, Communications Department, Hayward, California 1997
UC California, Film Studies Department, Berkeley, California 1998-2011
Stanford University, Humanities Department, Stanford, California 1998-2014
Documentary Instructor, San Francisco Digital Film School 2014


“Death in Africa, Death in Kansas”, Reel Talk, August 26, 2003
“White Hotel” Slant Magazine, Ed Gonzalez, October, 2001
“Documentaries in the Limelight”, SF, October 19, 1999
“The White Hotel” The Independent, San Francisco, February 1998
“A Journey to the White Hotel”, Cue Magazine, February 1998
“What’s On” The Argonaut, Santa Monica, California September 26, 1998
“The White Hotel”, The New York Independent Film Monitor, New York, January 15,1997
“White Hotel” The Bay Area Business Woman Journal, San Francisco, January 1997
“White Hotel takes personal look at AIDS in Eritrea”, Film & Tape World, San Francisco, January 1997
“White Hotel challenges viewers to confront reality”, The Richmond Review, San Francisco, January 1996
“Modern African Adventure Told in Documentary, White Hotel”, San Francisco Marina Times, January 1996

Professional Affiliations

United Nations Association Film Festival Advisory Board • International Documentary Association
DigAll Media, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Erica Jordan

Erica Jordan is an award-winning independent filmmaker whose recent work In Plain Sight (now entitled Seeing Slavery) a one-hour documentary about photographer Lisa Kristine on the frontlines of modern-day slavery, premiered at 2014 Mill Valley Film Festival and won the 2016 Impact Docs Award – Award of Excellence. Jordan’s debut feature film Walls of Sand, about the friendship between two women — an undocumented Iranian and an agoraphobic American, and their search for freedom, received the Best Emerging Filmmaker Award at Rivertown Film Festival, Honorable Mention at Slamdance Film Festival and gained international attention as the first feature film selected to stream over the Internet. Film Threat selected Jordan’s second dramatic feature film, In the Wake, as one of the best independent feature films of 2001 — “While anyone who saw ‘Walls of Sand’ could immediately recognize Ms. Jordan’s talent as a filmmaker, her new feature ‘In the Wake’ serves to confirm not only her skill and mastery of independent film production, but also herald her arrival as one of the major artists of the indie scene.” Jordan will begin production on a dramatic feature-length film this summer 2016 in Lake County, California, which incorporates both documentary and narrative filmmaking styles.

Jordan’s scope encompasses writing, producing, directing and editing documentary and narrative features that entertain, as they expand into a deeper view of the world.

Please visit for more information about Erica Jordan.


Dance for One (1989 – 11 min) short drama
A Different Shade of Blue (1991) 12 min) short drama
Walls of Sand (1995 – 110 min) (co-wrote/produced with Shirin Etesam) feature
Tales from the Heart (1998 – 37 min) 4 short dramas
Glenda Hope: The Tender Champ (2001 – 6 min) short documentary
Ida McCray:  Families With A Future (2001 – 6 min) short documentary
In the Wake (2001 – 94 min) dramatic feature
Fostering Art (2004 – 15 min) short documentary
Saving Malcolm X (2005 – 30 min) short documentary
Any Sunday at Rhythm and Motion (2009 – 7 min) short documentary
Our Daily Bread (2011) several short films for dance performance
Seed to Sprout (2012) 3 short films for youth dance/film/theater collaboration
In Plain Sight– (2014) feature documentary
Painted Nails – (2016) feature documentary

Mill Valley Film Festival, California – In Plain Sight, October 2014
United Nations Film Festival – In Plain Sight, October 2014
Napa Valley Film Festival – In Plain Sight, November 2014
San Francisco Docent’s Symposium, 49 Miles of Innovation and Connection, screened at St. Louis national symposium, October 2013.
Deep Waters Dance Theater, Our Daily Bread, several short films screen throughout dance performance, CounterPulse April 2011.
ODC Dance Commons, Any Sunday at Rhythm & Motion, screened at the 30th anniversary party
San Francisco City Hall, Saving Malcolm X, video screened as part of a photo exhibit, 2006
Zeum: San Francisco’s Children’s Museum, Fostering Art, screened as part of photo exhibit, 2004
Oxygen Media, Glenda Hope, Ida McCray documentaries, national broadcast, 2001
New York International Independent Film & Video Festival (Manhattan & LA), In the Wake, 2002
Black Point Film Festival, Wisconsin, (Honorable Mention) In the Wake, 2002
Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Valley, CA In the Wake (Official Premier Presentation), 2001
WinFemme Film Festival, Beverly Hills, CA (Critic’s Choice Award) – In the Wake, 2001
U.C. Davis International Film Festival – Davis, CA, (Honorable Mention), In the Wake, 2001
Film Festival of Iranian Cineaste in Diaspora, Canada, New York, Walls of Sand, 2001
Women’s Iranian Film Festival, Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, CA – Walls of Sand, 2001
Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema In the Wake, 2001
Light+Screen Film Festival, (New York, NY) 2000 – Walls of Sand
The Mill Valley Film Festival, Tales From The Heart: The Belly Dance, 1998
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Short Romances, (SF, CA) Tales From The Heart, 1998, (website) (first contemporary feature in the web) – Walls of Sand, 1998
The Festival of Iranian Films Made in Exile, (Sweden) Walls of Sand, 1997
Short Romances, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, (SF, CA) – Tales From The Heart, 1997
Boston Museum of Fine Art Film Festival, Walls of Sand, 1996
Orpheum Theater, (Boston, Mass.) (Calendar Screening), Walls of Sand, 1996
Roxie Cinema, (San Francisco, CA) (Calendar Screening), Walls of Sand, 1996
UCSF Psychiatrists Resident Screening, (San Francisco, CA), Walls of Sand, 1996
Slamdance Film Festival, (Saltlake City, Utah) (Honorable Mention), Walls of Sand, 1996
Umea Film Festival, (Sweden) – Walls of Sand, 1995
Nashville Independent Film Festival, (Tenn.) Walls of Sand, 1995
Film Arts Foundation Film Festival, (SF, CA) Walls of Sand, 1995
Breckenridge Film Festival, (Colorado) Walls of Sand, 1995
Rivertown Film Festival, (Minneapolis) Walls of Sand, 1995
Bay Area Women’s Film Festival, (Berkeley, CA), Walls of Sand, 1995
Big Muddy Film Festival, (Ill.) Walls of Sand, 1995
Palo Alto Film Festival, (Palo Alto, CA) Dance for One, 1987
Art Institute Film Festival, (SF, CA) Dance for One, 1987
Mill Valley Film Festival, (Mill Valley, CA) Dance for One, 1987


Jewish Communal Fund – 2011 Painted Nails
The Puffin Foundation Ltd. Artist’s Grant – 2009 Painted Nails


San Francisco Film Society, FilmHouse Residency Award, 2010
Black Point Film Festival – Honorable Mention, In the Wake, 2002
Film Threat, Hollywood’s Independent Voice – Best Unseen Film Award- In the Wake, 2001
Selected Colds Springs Workshop, sponsored by Miramax Films, Walls of Sand, New York, 1996
Honorable Mention – Slamdance Film Festival, (Salt Lake City, Utah), Walls of Sand, 1996
Best Emerging Filmmaker Award, Rivertown Film Festival, Walls of Sand, 1995
Juror’s Award, Nashville Independent Film Festival, Walls of Sand, 1995


“Griffin, Jordan Getting Their ‘Nails’ Done” San Francisco Film Society, SF360 Daily News & Features from America’s Film & Media Frontier, July 24, 2010
“Independent Film Distribution: How to Make a Successful End Run Around the Big Guys,” Phil Hall, 2006
“An Interview with Erica Jordan” by Jonathan W. Hickman,, 2002
“An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking”, by Hamid Naficy, Princeton Univ. Press, 2001
“In The Wake, Review,” Film Threat, 2001
“Erica Jordan: The Quiet Pioneer”, Film Threat interview by Phil Hall, May 3, 2000
“FILM; For Moviegoers, The Net’s Not Yet An Easy Option,” New York Times, March 1, 1998
Move Close Up, Interview with Bonnie Steiger, Erica Jordan and Shirin Etessam interviewed, San Francisco Public Access channels (1998)

Professional Affiliations

San Francisco Film Society – filmmaker membership • Bay Area Video Colalition – membership
DigAll Media, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Nhung Hoang Pham



Translator and Co-Producer, Nhung Hoang Pham, is a certified Vietnamese translator who graduated from Hanoi University of Finance and Accounting in Vietnam, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from San Francisco State University and worked toward a Master’s program in International and Development Economics. Through this program Nhung Pham engaged in on-site field research on the impacts of pesticides and herbicides on the health and productivity of small farmers in Nam Dinh province in Vietnam. Currently Nhung is interpreting at several hospitals and schools in San Francisco, CA. Nhung was drawn to working on Painted Nails because of her commitment to assisting the Vietnamese immigrant community and witnessing friends who suffer the consequences of working daily in the toxic environment of nail salons. Though Nhung originally used her skills as an interpreter on the Painted Nails, she soon became a co-producer and helped to guide Erica Jordan and Dianne Griffin in the Vietnamese community.

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Contact us

DigAll Media, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
15 Seal Rock Dr
San Francisco, CA 94121
Erica Jordan 415-505-1366
Dianne Griffin 415-999-6425


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