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Vietnamese movie screened at Tokyo Film Festival

Update: October, 30/2017 - 16:57
A scene of Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories. Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The 30th Tokyo International Film Festival will screen Vietnamese movie Cha Và Con Và.... (Big Father Small Father and Other Stories) under the framework of the CrossCut Asia programme to introduce Southeast Asian works.

The film, also known as Mekong Stories, will be screend on November 2 at Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills.

The movie is the second motion picture by Phan Đăng Di, featuring the lives of four young men in HCM City. Set in the 1990s, a group of friends discover love, lust and each other as the new millennium begins in Việt Nam -- from the steamy nightlife in HCM City to a traditional family existence.

Big Father Small Father and Other Stories is 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.

Under the festival’s CrossCut Asia programme, the first show of Big Father Small Father and Other Stories was held last Saturday with a presentation by director Phan Đăng Di and actor Lê Công Hoàng. The two artists also held a question and answer session with the audience following the show. The session was conducted by Kenji Ishizaka, director of Japan Foundation Asia Centre’s Future of Asia programme. 

"My role is very interesting and sensitive," Hoàng said during the talk in Tokyo. "In the movie, when I filmed the role, I was unsure about who I loved -- man or woman." Hoàng plays an apprentice photographer who has unusual feelings for his male housemate. This is Hoàng’s first role. 

During the section, director Di also stressed he had not yet found the proper way to distribute the movie in Việt Nam, although it has been being shown at many international film festivals. The director also explained that the movie is set some 20 years ago, during Việt Nam’s transition to a market-oriented economy.

Big Father Small Father and Other Stories won the Young Jury Prize at the Festival of the Three Continents in Nantes, France, in 2015. 

Director Di is among Việt Nam’s outstanding contemporary filmmakers. He is the first Vietnamese independent filmmaker to have his film being shown commercially in France when French distributor Memento Films showed Big Father Small Father and Other Stories under the name Mekong Stories in 2016. 

The Tokyo International Film Festival, held for the first time in 1985, is the only film festival in Japan recognised by the International Federation of Film Producers Association and has become one of the largest film festivals in Japan.

Over 1,500 films from 88 countries and territories worldwide have been screened at the festival in different categories such as Crosscut Asia, Japan Now and World Focus. — VNS


An audience asks director Phan Đăng Di (first right)’s signature.
Question and answer section with audieces after Big Father Small Father and Other Stories show.

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