Born in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1956, he grew up in a small Vietnamese town during the war. After emigrating to France, he studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Poitiers. He then moved to the USA where he took a doctrate in Physics at UCLA. For many years he researched the interaction between light and sound before returning to UCLA to study screenwriting and directing, which he completed in 1998. His directing debut BUFFALO BOY (2004) screened at festivals including Toronto, Locarno and Busan and won numerous international awards.