VN-Europe doc film festival

June 08, 2017 - 09:00
Spanish offering: Documentary film La Plaga
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The 8th European-Vietnamese Documentary Film Festival starts tomorrow (June 9) in Hà Nội and HCM City. The festival will show 31 documentaries produced in Việt Nam and Europe and will take place simultaneously at the National Documentary Film Studio in Hà Nội and at Hoa Sen University in HCM City. 

Documentary films made by Vietnamese independent filmmakers and students will be presented during a special screening session on June 10 at 4pm at Hoa Sen University and on June 11 at 3pm at the national studio. 

"This is a new point of the festival this year," said People’s Artist Nguyễn Như Vũ, the national studio’s acting director. "Eleven documentaries by Vietnamese independent filmmakers with different themes will give audiences a vivid vision of Vietnamese culture."

The 23-minute film Dành Tặng Ông Điều (Dedicated to Grandpa Điều) by Nguyễn Hiền Anh, for example, portrays 89-year old Điều who teaches children English, introduces Vietnamese culture to foreigners and is translating a book by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger into Vietnamese. 

The film won the Việt Nam Cinematography Association’s Golden Kite Award in 2015. Anh made the film as her graduation project at the Centre for Assistance and Development of Movie Talents. 

The European-Vietnamese Documentary Film Festival is one of a series of cultural festivals organised each year by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) to promote better understanding between the people of Vietnam and Europe.

Each night from June 9 to June 18 audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy one Vietnamese documentary film followed by one European film. The opening night will show Vietnamese Dấu Tích Sa Huỳnh (Sa Huỳnh Relics) and French Once Upon a Forest, in the presence of the Vietnamese director Phùng Ngọc Tú. 

Tú’s film won the Golden Kite Award in 2015 whilst director Luc Jacquet’s Once Upon a Forest was a Cesar Award nomination in 2014. 

Israel’s film Who’s Gonna Love Me Now will be shown on June 10 together with Vietnam’s Con Đường Phía Trước (The Way Ahead). The Israeli film is about a gay HIV carrier living in London where he found refuge from the religious kibbutz where he grew up in Israel. The film won audience award at the Berlinale Film Festival and Krakow International Film Festival in Poland in 2016. 

Other European films include the Danish Design For Life, English Amy, Belgian The Man Who Mends Women, The Wrath of Hippocrates, German Happy, Swedish Bikes vs Cars, Austrian Everything Under Control, Swedish More Than Honey, and Spanish La Plaga. 

Amy, the incredible story of six-time Grammy-winner Amy Winehouse, directed by BAFTA award-winning Asif Kapadia, will feature extensive unseen archival footage and previously unheard tracks by the singer, according to the British Council. Amy received 33 nominations and has won a total of 30 film awards at the British Academy Film Awards, US Academy Awards, European Film Awards, and Grammy Awards.

The festival will also highlight The Man Who Mends Women, The Wrath of Hippocrates by director Thierry Michel. It is about Congolese gynecologist Denish Mukwege, a human rights activist and Sakharov Prize Winner. It won many awards, including the Special Human Rights Award and Audience Award at the Millenium Documentary Film Festival and Documentary Award and Human Rights Award at the International Panafrica Film Festival in Montreal.

The screening will include a debate in the presence of the director. 

The documentary festival has been held annually since 2009 (except for last year). Further information is available on and fanpage: — VNS


Unseen footage: English documentary Amy
Creating a buzz: Swedish documentary More Than Honey
German documentary Happy