Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Japanese film director Masako Sakata received a Friendship Medal for her contribution to help Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange (AO) recently at the Vietnamese embassy in Japan.
Sakata has made two documentaries on AO, My Personal Requiem in 2007 and Journey to Father’s Battlefield, Việt Nam in 2011 which help AO victims in their legal action against American chemical companies.
"I’m very honoured to receive the Friendship Medal," Sakato said at the award ceremony. "Many people become aware of AO’s side effects. But Vietnamese AO victims’ lawsuit has not been solved yet, so I will continue to screen the documentaries on AO victims making them popular to people in the world, including America."
Sakato’s two documentaries have been shown in many countries such as the US, France, Japan and Canada.
My Personal Requiem in particular made a big impact when it was launched.
The film won many prizes including the Mainichi documentary film award, the Paris International Environment Film Festival’s Special Prize and the Earth Vision special jury award.
The second film focused on the daily lives of AO victims, including Vietnamese veterans as well as their hopes and dreams. To shoot the film she visited A So Airport, A Lưới District, central province of Thừa Thiên Huế where the chemical was sprayed, where she filmed people living in the area.
The two films will be screened in France in October.
At the ceremony, on behalf of Seed of Hope fund Sakato presented financial aid to Việt Nam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA).
Sakato also launched the Seed of Hope fund to grant scholarships to AO victims. The fund so far has helped 113 pupils and students in 21 provinces and cities by raising VNĐ2.3 billion (US$100,000).
Chairman of VAVA Nguyễn Văn Rinh expressed his thanks to Sakato at the ceremony and said that she made strong impressions on AO victims’ families when she visited and aided them.
Attending the ceremony were representatives of Vietnamese and Japanese organisations, including Vietnamese ambassador Nguyễn Quốc Cường. The ambassador lauded Sakata’s great contribution to help people in Japan and the world know about AO’s horrible impact on children in particular. — VNS