Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese director Đặng Nhật Minh is one of three global filmmakers to be honoured at the 36th Amiens International Film Festival (FIFAM), taking place from November 11 to 19 in Amiens, France.
Minh is perhaps the most famous Vietnamese artist to take the global stage since the country’s reunification in 1975. He is also the first Vietnamese director to recieve a retrospective programme at the international film festival for his filmography, which includes When The Tenth Month Comes (1984); The Return (1994); Season of Guavas (2000) and Don’t Burn (2009).
"Minh is the only Vietnamese contemporary film director deserving of this sort of international film festival recognition," said Vietnamese-French director Lê Lâm, who suggested the festival organisers choose Minh alongside Frenchman Louis Malle and American Douglas Trumbull.
"His eight films are very Vietnamese, and these characteristics will help foreign audiences get to know the Vietnamese people and country. Of course, the films also showcase Minh’s worldclass artistry and creativity".
The festival will also host a master class on Vietnamese cinema with presentations by Minh and Lâm.
All the films were formatted digitally by the Việt Nam Film Institution with funding from the Việt Nam Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
A global icon
Amongst Minh’s films, Bao Giờ Cho Đến Tháng Mười (When The Tenth Month Comes) is esepcailly famous, widely known not only in Việt Nam but also through Asia, where he has become the symbol for the art of Vietnamese cinema.
The recipient of numerous awards such as a special jury prize at the Hawaii International Film Festival 1985 and the Golden Lotus at the 7th Việt Nam National Film Festival, When The Tenth Month Comes was named "one of the greatest Asian films of all times" by CNN in 2008.
His latest movie, 2010’s Don’t Burn, was Vietnam’s first official nomination at the US Academy Award. The 100-minute film is based on a diary by martyr Đặng Thùy Trâm, who was a volunteer serving as a doctor in the National Liberation Front battlefield hospital in the central province of Quảng Ngãi.
Don’t Burn won the Audience Award at the 19th Fukuoka International Film Festival in Japan and six Golden Kite awards by the Việt Nam Cinematography Association.
Minh was born in central province of Huế in 1938. As a student he became fluent in both French and Russian. He honedhis craft on his own while translating Russian for the first Vietnamese film directors studying in the Soviet Union.
Back in Việt Nam, his first works were documentaries on such subjects as agricultural engineering. However, he soon progressed to motion pictures, such as City under the Fist about the devastation caused by the 1979 Chinese invasion of Việt Nam’s northern border.
The theme of ordinary people facing daily hardships in times of war and post-war adversity have coursed throughout his work ever since.
Minh was recently honoured by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is the only Vietnamese citizen to win the Nikkei Asia Prize. -- VNS