Đà Nẵng Asian Film Festival kicks off, welcoming world-renowned filmmakers

July 03, 2024 - 07:00
The 2024 Đà Nẵng Asian Film Festival (DANAFF II) kicked off yesterday, offering numerous surprises, a packed event schedule full of in-depth discussions, and prominent guest judges.

ĐÀ NẴNG The 2024 Đà Nẵng Asian Film Festival (DANAFF II) kicked off yesterday, offering numerous surprises about the number of films that are competing, a packed event schedule full of in-depth discussions and prominent guest judges.

Park Kwang-su, chairman of the Busan International Film Festival, attends DANAFF II. Photo courtesy of Busan International Film Festival

In addition to world-renowned filmmakers that were previously announced, such as Chinese-French author and filmmaker Dai Sijie and Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan, the festival has also just welcomed two filmmakers from the Busan International Film Festival -- former Chairman Kim Dong-ho and Chairman Park Kwang-su.

Two South Korean honouring guests attend the conference themed Sharing Experience and Networking Coastal Film Festivals, Opportunities for Đà Nẵng City and DANAFF.

The conference also had the participation of leading experts, such as Georges Goldenstern, former director of the Cinefondation, Cannes International Film Festival, and Lorna Tee, producer and secretary general of the Asian Film Alliance Network (AFAN).

The workshop focuses on how international film festivals in coastal cities are organised and maintain influence on the film industry, as well as how they create brands for the region.

The festival also features in-depth discussions aiming to enhance the Vietnamese cinematic industry and garner international recognition, including French Cinema and Its Interrelation with Vietnamese Cinema, The Signature Style of Director Đặng Nhật Minh, and International Co-production -- Experience and Development Solutions.

Trần Chí Cường, vice chairman of the Đà Nẵng People's Committee [the municipal government], highlighted that DANAFF II would establish Đà Nẵng's status as a trustworthy destination for international events.

"I hope that the festival connects cinema with tourism, establishing Đà Nẵng as a more appealing destination for both domestic and foreign tourists," he said.

Ngô Phương Lan, president of the Việt Nam Cinema Promotion Association and chairwoman of the DANAFF II, said: "We believe that DANAFF will develop rapidly and through the festival, Vietnamese filmmakers, especially young ones, will have more opportunities to go to the world."

Unlike other film festivals that mainly feature arthouse films, DANAFF also invites Vietnamese popular films such as Đào, Phở và Piano (Peach Blossom, Phở and Piano), and two blockbusters Mai and Lật Mặt 7: Một Điều Ước (Face Off 7: One Wish) to compete for top honours.

Director Trấn Thành's film Mai earned VNĐ550 billion (US$20 million), leading the list of most popular Vietnamese films in history. Lật Mặt 7: Một Điều Ước by director Lý Hải also earned VNĐ480 billion as the second most popular movie in Vietnamese theatres in 2024.

“We make an effort to adhere to international standards while still maintaining Vietnamese identities in the cinematic industry when organising DANAFF II," Lan said.

"We hope that the message of DANAFF as Asia's Bridge to keep developing and enhancing the reputation of the festival and Đà Nẵng City.”

DANAFF II is also the first time the full version of the French movie 'The Lover' by director Jean-Jacques Annaud has been released in Việt Nam. Photo courtesy of Films A2, Renn Productions and Burrill Production

In addition to showing in-competition films, the film festival will feature screenings of today's Vietnamese cinema and Đà Nẵng cinema, as well as selected films from celebrated director Đặng Nhật Minh and French Cinema Focus.

The festival will have over 100 free screenings, featuring 63 films, in theatres and outdoor public spaces. Additionally, Đà Nẵng audiences can engage in conversations and exchanges with artists and film crews.

For the first time in DANAFF this year, Vietnamese director Minh was bestowed the Film Achievement Award for his tireless contributions to Việt Nam’s cinema sector.

The festival will run until July 6. VNS