|Strong contender: A scene in Thien Menh Anh Hung (Blood Letter) which is regarded as a strong candidate for the Golden Lotus Award for best feature film. — Photo thethaovanhoa.vn
QUANG NINH (VNS) — There have been a record number of entries for the 18th National Film Festival that has opened in Ha Long City.
However, according to Ngo Phuong Lan, director of the ministry of culture's Cinematography Department, not many are noteworthy.
The opening of the festival was broadcast live on Viet Nam Television.
The festival will feature 139 films competing for Golden Lotus Awards for the best feature films, science documentaries and animations.
Among the 23 feature-film entries, the most highly anticipated area, only some are said to be of particular interest, including Thien Menh Anh Hung (Blood Letter), Bi Mat Tham Do (Scandal), Duong Dua (The Race), Nhung Nguoi Viet Huyen Thoai (The Legend Makers), and Lac Loi (Lost).
Among them, the Blood Letter by Vietnamese-American director Victor Vu, and Bui Tuan Dung's The Legend Makers are reportedly strong candidates for an award.
A story about the royal family during the Nguyen dynasty, the Blood Letter, focuses on the only son, Nguyen Vu, who has difficulty surviving after his family is massacred. It won eight awards at the Lotus Award 2012.
Another strong competitor, The Legend Makers, depicts one of the most vibrant periods in the country's history - the construction of an oil pipeline along the Truong Son mountain range by General Dinh Duc Thien and his soldiers.
Produced by an experienced crew, the film is a weighty candidate for best feature film, and best director, script and cameraman, according to The thao&Van hoa (Sports&Culture) newspaper.
Noted director Pham Nhue Giang's latest work Lac Loi (Lost), which explores love, family and social disorder, is also considered a potential candidate. It received a silver prize at the Golden Prize Awards 2012.
However, An Ninh Thu Do (City's Security) newspaper said that Lost had little chance of winning because it had not proved popular with audiences.
In the feature category, most entries were produced by private film makers, but were considered by local media as disasters. They include Cat Nong (Hot Sand), Dam Me (Passion), San Dan Ong (Hunt for Men), Hit: Hoang Tu va Lo Lem (Hit: Prince and Cinderella), and Ranh Gioi Trang Den (Line between Black and White).
"The participation of low-quality movies will not only lower the value and significance of the film festival, but also the prestige of this important playing ground for the national cinema industry," said director Giang.
Awards will be announced tomorrow evening at a closing ceremony broadcast live at 8pm on Viet Nam Television. — VNS