French cinemas to show VN independent film

April 15, 2016 - 19:00

Phan Đăng Di becomes the first Vietnamese independent filmmaker to have film being shown commercially in France from April 20.

Delta tales: Đỗ Hải Yến and Trương Thế Vinh play the two main roles in Mekong Stories. — Photo
Viet Nam News -

HÀ NỘI – Filmmaker Phan Đăng Di’s new production titled Cha, Con Và Những Câu Chuyện Khác (Mekong Stories) is being released in France.

The movie, which is the first independent Vietnamese film to be officially released in France,  will be screened at cinemas, including MK2, Gaumont, Pathe and UCG, by French distributor Memento Films from April 20.

Memento Films bought Mekong Stories, former known as Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories from its co-producer Acrobates Films. The co-producer is representing the movie in the French market.

Founded in 2005, Memento Films, an international selling agent of select arthouse films, focuses on tracking high-profile, director-driven independent films.

Each year, Memento selects some 10 movies from around the world to distribute in France. The company prefers distributing arthouse movies, such as the film Iranian Taxi, which won the Golden Bear last year; the Golden Palm award-winning Turkish film Winter Sleep in 2014; the Golden Bear award-winning Chinese film Black Coal, Thin Ice in 2014; and US Academy-Award winning film A Separation by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi in 2011.

Mekong Stories was also the first Vietnamese movie to compete for the Golden Bear at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in 2015. After premiering in Berlin, the movie was screened at 50 film festivals around the world.

Last November, the film won the Young Jury Prize at the Festival of the Three Continents in Nantes, France.

Mekong Stories is the second motion picture by Di and revolves around the lives of three young people in HCM City in the early 2000s. Vũ is an apprentice photographer, Thắng- bartender and Vân dreams of becoming a dancer.

Surrounded by the chaos of the city, they must face the realities of a country that is experiencing change.

The movie has received good reviews from French newspapers Le Monde and cinema magazines Premiere and Positif even before its official release.

Director Di and producer/actress Đỗ Hải Yến will attend the film’s premiere in Paris on April 20.

“MK2 cinema is one of France’s largest cinemas. Phan Đăng Di’s movie being shown there is a matter of pride for Vietnamese cinema,” veteran film director Việt Linh said.

Linh’s Chung Cư (The Tenement House) was the first Vietnamese movie to be shown in  France in 1999 and was screened for 14 weeks. Other Vietnamese movies screened in France in previous years include Linh’s Mê Thảo Thời Vang Bóng (Glorious Time In Mê Thảo Hamlet), director Đặng Nhật Minh’s Mùa Ổi (Guava’s Season), director Vương Đức’s Những Người Thợ Xẻ (The Sawyers) and Nguyễn Võ Nghiêm Minh’s Mùa Len Trâu (Buffaloe’s Boy). — VNS