|Starring: Vietnamese actors and actresses attend the opening of the third Ha Noi International Film Festival yesterday in the capital city. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
HA NOI (VNS) — A total of 130 films from 32 countries and territories will be screened at the third Ha Noi International Film Festival (HANIFF).
The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism organised the biennial festival, an important cultural event in the country that opened at the Friendship Cultural Palace here yesterday, to honour Asia-Pacific cinema and promote the development of co-operation and cultural exchange between filmmakers in the region and the world.
"The film festival aims to honour excellent cinematic works of high humanity and artistic value. It's also an opportunity for Viet Nam's actors to enhance cultural and professional exchanges and learning experiences, contributing to the development of Viet Nam's cinema as well as the regional and international film industry in a new stage," said Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Hoang Tuan Anh.
With the theme "Cinema: Integration and Sustainable Development," the event serves as a platform for gathering prestigious directors, producers and actors in many countries, as well as young film talents of the Asia-Pacific cinema industry.
"Together they explore the uniqueness of each work and the national character of each cinema industry to contribute to the sustainable development of regional cinema," said Ngo Phuong Lan, Vietnam Cinema Department director general and film festival director.
Several international stars, including famed Hollywood actor-director-producer Eli Roth who directed the movie Hostel, his fiance Lorenza Izzo and veteran actress Colleen Camp graced the festival's red carpet opening yesterday evening amid a warm welcome from the public.
The films were being shown free of charge since yesterday at five main cinemas here.
Besides 52 films from the Asia-Pacific region that are competing for prizes in various categories such as feature-length films, short films and films in the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, the audience has also a chance to see 40 great works of artistic value and humanity from across the world.
Moreover, the festival will bring to delegates, guests, international film colleagues and audiences an overview of Vietnamese cinema through new films, including serious films and entertaining blockbusters.
Among the Vietnamese entries are critically acclaimed and commercially successful films such as Than Tuong (The Talents), Nhung Dua Con Cua Lang (The Village Children) and Dap Canh Giua Khong Trung (Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere), which won a prize at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival and competed in several other international film competitions.
Other highlights of the 2014 HANIFF include two workshops on "Co-operation in filmmaking between Viet Nam and other countries" and "Production and promotion of independent films: Experience from the Philippines".
A creation camp for young talented filmmakers, a film project market where filmmakers in Viet Nam and other parts of the world meet and talk about their film projects, and a photo exhibit featuring Viet Nam's well-known places for shooting movies are included among the event highlights.
Outstanding projects selected at the film project market, which is being held for the first time at the festival, will take part in major international events, including the Cannes and Berlin International Film festivals.
The festival's closing and awarding ceremony will take place at the Friendship Cultural Palace at 91 Tran Hung Dao Street in Hoan Kiem District on Thursday. It will be aired live on television channels VTV1 and VTV4.
The winner of the highest award will earn US$5,000, the organiser said. The jury is made up of celebrated international filmmakers, as well as veteran Vietnamese directors and actors.
Interested parties may watch the free-admission film screenings by getting tickets at the cinemas one day before the screening of the film they want to see.
The event website www.haniff.vn provides more information on film screening schedules and venues. — VNS