A scene in Thạch Thảo (Love Story), directly by Mai Thế Hiệp, a romantic love storyu between students. Photo courtesy of Galaxy Studio
HÀ NỘI — The biggest event of the national cinema industry will be held on November 23-27 in Vũng Tàu City, southern province of Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu.
The 21st Việt Nam Film Festival will honour the excellent works on the silver screen and pay respect to artists and filmmakers who have great devotion for the national cinema industry during 2017-2019.
“The festival helps increase the quality and professionalism in making, producing and distributing films,” said Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tạ Quang Đông.
“It also creates a chance to exchange and enhance experiences between artists, filmmakers, producers, distributors and cultural managers. It’s an important event to boost the development and integration of the national cinema industry.
“The film festival also introduces new films to the public, building a bridge between the audiences and the filmmakers.”
Themed “Building a Vietnamese cinema industry with humanity, creativity and integration", the festival will praise the films showing creativity, national identity, humanity, distinguished artistic expression and international integration, according to head of the film festival organising board Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà who is also vice director of the Department of Cinema.
Hà revealed about 50 foreign filmmakers, producers and actors will participate to the film festival.
The event will gather more than 1,000 cinema workers nationwide, who will join various activities in the opening, award ceremonies and workshops.
Vietnamese films produced in the past two years will be featured in Competition Programme and Panorama Programme.
Each category will include feature films, documentaries, scientific films and animation.
Golden Lotus and Silver Lotus prizes will be awarded for the best works of feature films, documentaries and animation. The country's best directors, playwrights and actors will also receive awards.
This year 16 feature films will compete for the awards including Người Bất Tử (The Immortal), Tháng Năm Rực Rỡ (Go Go Sisters), Song Lang (The Tap Box), Anh Thầy Ngôi Sao (My Superstar Teacher) and Hai Phượng (Furie).
It’s noted that four films produced by State-run enterprises or private studios by State agency’s order will participate in the Competition Programme.
In recent years, many artists worried about the absence of State-sponsored films, according to People’s Artist Nhuệ Giang.
“Apart from films produced by private enterprises, the films produced by the State-run enterprises are very important,” said director Giang.
“Four films at the festival received much attention and high appreciation from the critics, it’s a good sign.
“We expect that they will help eliminate the prejudice that State-produced films are often boring.”
The film Hợp Đồng Bán Mình (The Contract) directed by Trần Ngọc Phong is about a love affair between a young girl and a rich man. She signed a contract to be his wife in 10 years because he spends much money to save her family.
In the film Nơi Ta Không Thuộc Về (The Place I Don’t Belong to), director Đặng Thái Huyền, who is very famous for television films about war, tells about the adventurous and thrilling itinerary of journalist Đông Hà. Hà returns to the old battlefield to write about Thung Ma, a secret base where weapons were hidden during the war.
Directed by Đinh Tuấn Vũ, Truyền Thuyết Về Quán Tiên (A Legend in Quán Tiên) is about young female volunteers on Trường Sơn Trail.
Among the films, Thạch Thảo (Love Story) directed by Mai Thế Hiệp is the most anticipated.
Director Phong said he had many difficulties when he worked on the project of The Contract. Making a film using fund from the State is an honour and a pressure at the same time.
He said: “I feel so small in the market of entertainment films which are produced by private studios who have larger budget staff, famous cast, and post-production made with foreign experts and techniques.
“I have watched many films like these to understand the audience’s taste, what attracted them to the cinema then I use my experience and knowledge to send the message of Vietnamese culture to the film.”
Apart from the screenings and competition, the film festival also comprises seminars on the development of the cinema industry and a photo exhibition of beautiful scenes from the films.
Various sideline events will be held in Hà Nội and HCM City including exchange meetings between audience, students and artists; exhibitions featuring islands and sea through cinema view and free screenings. VNS