SCALED DOWN: The 2019 Film Festival. According to the organisation board, the number of works submitted to Việt Nam Film Festival this year has decreased in comparison to the previous festivals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Photo hanoitv.vn
HÀ NỘI - Fewer films have been submitted to the Việt Nam Film Festival this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as announced by its organisation board.
Specifically, this year’s event, with the motto "Building a Vietnamese Film Industry Rich in National Identity, Modernity and Humanity", has received 20 feature films, in addition to 66 documentaries, 13 scientific films, and 31 cartoons.
According to the organisation board, the number of works submitted to the festival has decreased in comparison to the previous ones as the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected the production and distribution of films in the past two years; however, their quality is considered to be quite uniform and highly professional.
The organisers expressed their appreciation of the production units and artists who have submitted works to the festival, which demonstrate their affection, enthusiasm and sense of responsibility to contribute to the development of the domestic film industry.
TIPPED FOR AWARDS: Bố Già (Dad, I'm Sorry) is expected to win big at the 22nd Việt Nam Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Galaxy Cinema
At the same time, it also shows the artists’ spirit of overcoming difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As revealed by director of the culture ministry's Cinema Department and head of the organisation board, Vi Kiến Thành, three options for the organisation of the 22nd Việt Nam Film Festival were planned early this year -- in the traditional form like previous years; 50 per cent online and 50 per cent offline; and totally in virtual form.
However, the direct form of organisation is impossible based on the situation of the pandemic, so options two and three are being considered.
The director said that the Cinema Department expected that the biggest film fest of Việt Nam, which provides an opportunity for filmmakers and actors nationwide to gather and honour cinematic artists, excellent cinematographic works produced within the last two years, to be held in the second way.
Specifically, the number of guests will be limited, participants have to keep their distance from each other while the venue and the accommodation of guests will be constantly disinfected.
However, this option could only be implemented in case the venue where the festival takes place – the central province of Thừa Thiên, Huế – records no positive cases of COVD-19 and essential services are allowed to operate.
Even in such conditions, all attendees will still be forced to undergo medical checks to ensure that they are not infected with the virus.
“However, the pandemic is still complicated and unpredictable so the organisation board has to continue to closely monitor daily in order to reach the most appropriate final decision,” said Thành.
Revealing the jury members participating in the selection of categories at this year's film festival, the director said that the Cinema Department would submit a list of judges to the leaders of the culture ministry this September.
Although the official jury has not been announced, Thành affirmed that they will have a younger average age.
Particularly, they will have a new mindset, be open to new ideas and various different trends in artistic composition, he said.
“Moreover, the judges are those that follow and understand contemporary cinema life. They will also have to meet the criteria of not participating in the creative component of any work submitted to the competition at the festival."
According to the initial plan, the 22nd Việt Nam Film Festival was to take place in Huế City from September 12 to 16. However, due to the pandemic, it was postponed to November, and therefore the time to receive entries was also extended by one month.
Founded in 1970, the Việt Nam Film Festival is considered the major event of cinema in the country. The festival is held every two or three years in different host cities all over Việt Nam. VNS