Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam movie The Way Station, directed by Phạm Hồng Ánh, has grabbed the Special Jury Prize at the Eurasia International Film Festival in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Among the nearly 300 entries in this year’s event, which closed on July 28, the selection of The Way Station in the final 12 itself was considered a miracle.
“Each of these films had two screenings. The Vietnamese production lured filmgoers to fill the 209-seat room during both the screenings,” said Ánh on her Facebook.
Ánh could watch only five out of the 12, but she said three of them were stunning.
“To me, the presence of The Way Station at the festival, further from Southeast Asia, is already a big bonus. It would be a miracle if it can win here. I wish the movie crew would be here with me to call out Việt Nam’s name,” she posted before the awarding day.
The Way Station revolves around a small Vietnamese fishing village and the relationships between its inhabitants, each with their own inner struggles.
The film’s screenplay was adapted from a short story by local author Đỗ Phước Tiến.
“I am really happy because Eurasia is one of the leading festivals in the world, which saw the participation of famous actors, my idols such as Nicolas Cage, John Málkovich and Adrien Brody. It is also judged by internationally-recognised juries,” said Ánh after the awarding ceremony.
“I am happy because foreign viewers and juries understood the soul and spirit of Việt Nam, and its people,” she added.
The Way Station is Ánh’s first movie. Before coming to Astana, it was nominated in eight categories, setting a record at the 2017 ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards in Malaysia in May.
It was awarded for the Best Film, Best Leading Actor for Phạm Hồng Phước and Best DOP for Lý Thái Dũng.
Under its theme of Bridging Culture, the Eurasia Festival was organised from July 22 to July 28 in Astana. It is the biggest event in the central Asia region and is considered by the International Federation of Film Producers Association to be at the same level as A-class film festival.
In 2012, Eurasia was listed as one of the 35 biggest festivals in the world by International Film Guide of United Kingdom.
The Way Station will continue to vie for prizes at other festivals, including Brisbane International Film Festival from August 17 to September 3, Asia Pacific Screen Awards in November, also in Brisbane, Australia, and the Goteborg Film Festival next January in Sweden. — VNS