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Ha Noi International Film Festival attracts 31 nations

Update: November, 26/2012 - 10:32


Actor Cliff Curtis poses with a Vietnamese fan at the opening ceremony of the Ha Noi International Film Festival last night in the capital city. The New Zealander, whose international career took off with a major role in the 1993 Oscar-nominated The Piano, is among the jurors of the feature movie category at the festival. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
Festival finery: Vietnamese actors gather at the opening ceremony of the second Ha Noi International Film Festival last night in the capital city. The five-day festival will present feature films and documentaries from 31 countries. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
HA NOI (VNS)— Feature films and documentaries from 31 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific are to be shown at the Ha Noi International Film Festival which opened yesterday.

More than 100 feature films, documentaries and short films will be screened at nine cinema complexes until Thursday, including 37 competing in the categories of Best Feature Movie, Best Short Film and the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema Award.

Two Vietnamese films to compete with 12 others for Best Feature Movie are Thien Menh Anh Hung (Blood Letter) and Dam Me (Passion).

"This film festival is an opportunity for Viet Nam's artists and actors to exchange cultural values and professional experiences," said Hoang Tuan Anh, minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

It was also a chance to spread the image of Viet Nam to the world, he said.

The festival was scheduled to open with a feature movie on Viet Nam, Cat Nong (Hot Sand), directed by Le Hoang and produced by the Liberation Film Studio.

It will be screened nationwide during the Lunar New Year festival next February.

Jury president for feature films, German director Jan Schuette, said the festival screened films rarely shown in Viet Nam, including Orphan (Russia), Footnote (Israel), Iron Lady (Britain) and Amour (France). The latter won the Golden Palm at the 2012 Cannes Festival, the highest prize awarded and presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition.

Viet Nam will present 42 films in different categories with three themes: Ha Noi, Viet Nam's renewal period, and those produced from 2010 until now.

Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's Cinematography Department head and festival director Ngo Phuong Lan said there was a big number of Vietnamese films, giving a "multidimensional and active viewpoint of Viet Nam's film industry".

"It also gives Vietnamese audiences the opportunity to enjoy many remarkable films about Viet Nam," she said.

While Vietnamese and short foreign films are free, film-lovers can buy tickets at a 50 per cent discount to watch foreign feature films.

Audiences will also have the chance to meet documentary makers, animators and film crews. Hollywood actor Clifford Vivian Devon (Cliff Curtis) and Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti, voted as the best Iranian actress of the decade by 130 Iranian film critics, will be at the festival.

The festival will feature a three-day workshop where experts, including Sonja Heinen from the World Cinema Foundation, Tessa Inkelaar from Film London and Michael J Werner from Fortissimo Films, are to share their experiences with emerging Asian directors.

Also, students will be directed by Vietnamese and international experts in research, discussion and practice.

Meanwhile, two international conferences will be held at the Ha Noi Daewoo Hotel. At the first, entitled "Viet Nam Cinema in the Renewal Period", which was scheduled for today, 200 Vietnamese and foreign artists, filmmakers and film producers will assess the development of Viet Nam cinematography since the renewal period that began in the late of 1980s, and international integration.

The second conference, "Digital Technology and Development Trends in Film Production and Cinema", will be held on Wednesday.

An exhibition entitled "Viet Nam Cinema in the Renewal Period", provides attendants with a general view of developments in Viet Nam cinematography during 20 years of renewing and integrating.

"As the festival is a newly established event, its goals are demonstrating the power of youth and caring for rising talents," Lan said.

The closing ceremony of the festival and awards presentations and will be at the Friendship Cultural Palace at 91 Tran Hung Dao Street on Thursday, to be broadcast live on VTV2 and VTV4 at 8pm. — VNS

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