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Gay pride documentaries to be shown in Zanzibar

Update: July, 25/2015 - 10:07
Proud: Vietnamese youth at Viet Pride. A still from the film Red Over the Rainbow.

ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA (VNS)  — A documentary depicting the first two gay-pride parades in Ha Noi in 2012 and 2013, known as Viet Pride, and other compelling stories from the LGBT community, will premiere at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), East Africa's largest film, music and arts festival.

Directed by Vincent Baumont, Red over the Rainbow is one of 27 documentaries that will be screened at the festival, which runs from July 18-26.

The film depicts milestones achieved by the LGBT community, and profiles members of the community from different generations, genders and backgrounds who are united in building a strong and proud community.

The film also sheds light on the challenges and stigma that LGBT people face in Viet Nam at a time when the economy is growing at a fast pace and many local residents are still deeply anchored to family and long-held cultural traditions.

"The first gay pride in Viet Nam was really important," Baumont said. "It took place the same year that there was a great debate in France and other countries about marriage equality."

"You may think Viet Nam is very conservative, but in some ways the Vietnamese may be more accepting than others. That is what made me really get into this project," he added.

One of 27: A poster for the documentary Red over the Rainbow, at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

By showcasing the life stories of gay, lesbian and transgender people in Ha Noi, the documentary shows how Viet Nam might become the first country in Asia to allow same-sex marriage. It is a colourful and varied documentary, shot in scenic Ha Noi, home of Viet Pride 2012 and 2013.

A graduate of the fine arts school ENSAD and film studies at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, Baumont is a freelance videographer based in Ha Noi, and a founding member of the Almaz Collective, a creative team with an experimental art space.

He has worked on various documentary and corporate projects for BBC World News, the French Ministry of Environment, OECD, UNICEF, Discovery Channel, WWF, French National Theatre, Le Monde, Russian Standard, East Meets West, DED, Blue Dragon Children's Foundation and other art institutions and festivals.

He finds video the most relevant tool to gather his ideas in one single artwork, but continues to work in most media. His main focus is how the urban environment and human beings shape each other. — VNS

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