Gritty: Actor Liên Bỉnh Phát (left) plays a debt collector in Song Lang. — Photo thegioidienanh.vn
HÀ NỘI — Two Vietnamese movies Song Lang (The Tap Box) and Có Căn Nhà Nằm Nghe Nắng Mưa (Like an Old House) will attend the 4th ASEAN International Film Festival from April 25 to 27 in Kuching City, Malaysia.
The festival organisation board announced earlier this month that the festival will gather about 30 movies to vie for different awards including the ASEAN Spirit Award and Special Honour.
The Vietnamese movies are among few art-house movies in cinema industry. Song Lang, directed by Leon Lê is to honour traditional cải lương (reformed opera).
The movie is Lê’s first feature length film and was written by himself and Nguyễn Thị Minh Ngọc. Song Lang tells the story of a relationship between a cải lương singer and a gangster whose parent is also a cải lương artist. The gangster also loves cải lương but doesn’t take up his parent’s career.
The story is set in HCM City in the 1980s. Debt collector Dũng meets cải lương actor Linh Phụng when he comes to collect a debt. Despite their initial friction, they gradually learn to get along.
Through the career of Linh Phụng, a young performer who makes sacrifices to pursue his dream, the movie features cải lương artists in HCM City in the 1980s, focusing on the challenges they face to preserve their art.
Song Lang has participated in many international film festivals. It has also won many prizes for the director and leading actor Liên Bỉnh Phát.
The most recent award is best director for Leon Lê at Forward Future category at Beijing International Film Festival on April 19.
Maternal love: Actress Kim Xuân in Like An Old House. — Photo thegioitre.vn
Earlier, the movie earned Lê the award for best director and grabbed the Samir Farid Prize for the best feature film at the Sharm El-Sheikh Asian Film Festival in Egypt in March.
Phát also won the Golden Kite Award for best actor recently by Việt Nam Cinematography Association. He was one of four young artists to take the Tokyo Gemstone award at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Director Mai Thế Hiệp’s Like an Old House is one of the rare films not only of Vietnamese cinema on the topic of maternal love.
It tells of a mother who waited for her son for 30 years after the boy left because he was suspected of murder.
The humanistic film with the leading role by veteran actress Kim Xuân is expected to be a strong contender at the festival.
Artists Kim Xuân, Liên Bỉnh Phát, Lê and Hồng Ánh will attend the festival. Ánh’s The Way Station won Best Picture Drama; Best Actor and Best Director of Photography at the 3rd festival in 2017.
The ASEAN International Film Festival was initiated by Malaysia in 2013 to help promote ASEAN culture, tradition and heritage.
This year, Malaysian director U-Wei Saari will be acting as the head juror for the festival. The other jury members are directors French Alain Jalladeau, Filipino Amable Aguiluz, Indonesian Daniel Rudi Haryanto and Laotian Mattie Do. VNS