New York Singer is ‘Lost in a Dream’ After Winning $20,000 Prize Ha Phuong Foundation Helps Others Break Into Entertainment Industry

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New York Singer is ‘Lost in a Dream’ After Winning $20,000 Prize

Ha Phuong Foundation Helps Others Break Into Entertainment Industry


Jen Fellman was like many others in Manhattan: waitressing or bar-tending to keep a roof over her head and food in the fridge while she auditioned and hoped for her big break as a singer, actress, and writer. Then two great things happened:  She reached her goal on GoFundMe, raising $26,500 to pay for a recording studio, musicians, and engineers who could help her make her debut solo album. Next, the icing went on her cake—thanks to Ha Phuong Chu Tran, a philanthropic New Yorker as well as a movie producer, author, actress and singer in the U.S. and a superstar recording artist in her native Vietnam.

Ha Phuong actively helps talented singers and others interested in a career in the entertainment industry. On Sunday, April 15 Ha Phuong held a karaoke style competition at the St. Jean Baptise Theatre, featuring a top prize of $20,000 for the singer with the best rendition of “Lost in a Dream;” the hauntingly beautiful theme song of her upcoming motion picture, Finding Julia, in which Ha Phuong plays the title role. The film will debut in five cities, including New York, in September 2018. When Ha Phuong announced the winner, it was Jen Fellman.

“I could not be more excited and grateful to Ha Phuong for this prize,” Jen enthuses. “So many wonderful people, friends, family, and strangers stepped up to help me on GoFundMe and made it possible for me to record my first album this fall,” she reports. “Now, with the generous prize, I can pay off some debts as I continue to work on my musical career.”

The “Lost in a Dream” competition included an additional prize of $5,000 for the Most Unique Performance. The winner was ten-year-old singer Meena Ha of Washington State. Meena Ha would like to use some of her money to buy a bicycle, donate to an animal shelter and save the rest for her college fund. Meena Ha is part of a girl choir and also performs at many local charity events.

Ha Phuong has been generously supporting the arts worldwide for years. In New York the Ha Phuong Foundation is funding The Young Female Filmmakers Initiative, an educational and financial support program for aspiring women filmmakers, from high school graduation through graduate studies and beyond, administered by the non-profit New York Women in Film & Television. Ha Phuong has pledged that all profits from her film, her music and her other creative endeavors will be used to support the work of the Ha Phuong Foundation.

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