HA NOI — Filmmaker Cuong Ngo's latest movie Ngoc Vien Dong (Pearls of the Far East) has won two awards at the 14th Annual California Independent Film Festival (CIFF).
|Forbidden love: Actress Ngo Thanh Van from a scene in Ngoc Vien Dong. — File Photo
The Vietnamese film beat two others, including British film The Stand-In and Tilt from Bulgarian, to win the award for Best Cinematography. In the Best Music category, Ngoc Vien Dong beat with Tilt and American film Applebox for the award.
French movie Monsieur Lazhar won the Best Picture at the festival this year, which ended yesterday.
Since its inception in 1997, the CIFF has become one of the most successful and fastest growing film festivals in California. Thirty-nine indie-movies from all over the world attended the annual festival.
Featuring six short stories, Ngoc Vien Dong explores the inner lives and forbidden loves of several Vietnamese women in what is director Cuong's feature film debut.
Born in HCM City in 1978, Cuong graduated from the HCM Cinema and Theatre
College and the Film Production Department at York University in Canada.
Cuong said he was inspired to make movies at a young age, after watching Giuseppe Tornatore's Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. Due to his background in the performing arts, Cuong has found his passion in directing. He directed two award-winning short comedies in 2003 and 2004 while at the International Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University.
Sri Lanka hosts Vietnamese film week
HA NOI — Film director Dang Nhat Minh's multi-award winning Vietnamese film Dung Dot (Don't Burn) has launched Vietnamese Film Week in Sri Lanka.
Other acclaimed Vietnamese movies screened in Sri Lanka during the event included Em Be Ha Noi (Hanoian Little Girl), Canh Dong Hoang (Fallow Field), Chuyen Cua Pao (Pao's Story), and Trang Noi Day Gieng (Moon at the Bottom of the Well).
The movie week is the first-ever Vietnamese cultural event in the south Asian country, where Viet Nam opened its embassy last April.
According to the Vietnamese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Ton Sinh Thanh, the film week has offered local audiences the chance to learn more about Vietnamese people and their country.
Several other cultural exchange activities between the two countries will also be held this year, including an exhibition by Vietnamese photographers in June and an arts performance featuring traditional Vietnamese art forms at the end of the year. A Sri Lankan art troupe will perform at the Hue Festival in Viet Nam in April.
The Vietnamese Movie Week will close on Sunday.
His film Cay Tram Vang (The Golden Pin) won the Best Canadian Short Award at Toronto's Inside Out Festival in 2009 and took second place in the 2009 National Film Board Best Canadian Short Award.
Produced in 2010, Cuong's film features many A-list Vietnamese actresses, including veteran Nhu Quynh, along with Ngo Thanh Van and Truong Ngoc Anh, who are coupled with overseas Vietnamese actors.
The film script was adapted from the short stories of Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc, who also acts in the film. The film captures some of the most beautiful images of Viet Nam's landscapes, such as panoramas from Sa Pa, Da La, Mui Ne and Hoi An.
Ngoc Vien Dong will be released in Viet Nam next month. — VNS