Director Leon Lê and producer Ngô Thanh Vân (second and third from right) receive the Golden Lotus Award for the film Song Lang (The Tap Box). — VNS Photo Minh Khánh
BÀ RỊA – VŨNG TÀU – Song Lang (The Tap Box), a film about the art of cải lương (reformed opera) has won the Golden Lotus, the State’s most coveted prize for a cinematic work.
The award ceremony took place yesterday in the coastal province of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu, wrapping up the 21st Việt Nam National Film Festival (VNNFF).
The film, directed by Leon Lê (whose real name is Lê Nhật Quang) and produced by Ngô Thanh Vân, reflects the 100-year history and development of cải lương through the career of Linh Phụng, a young performer who makes sacrifices to pursue his dream.
The film stars pop singer and actor Isaac, winner of the Rising Star of Asia’s Star Awards at the 21st Busan International Festival in 2016, and young actors Tú Quyên and Liên Bỉnh Phát.
Apart from the Golden Lotus for the film, director Lê also received the Excellent Director award. Sound director Vũ Thành Long, art director Ghia Phạm and actor Isaac received the prize for Excellent Sound Director, Excellent Art Director and Excellent Supporting Actor, respectively.
The film received praise from the jury thanks to its art, content and message. It was honoured at various international events such as the third edition of the Sharm El-Sheikh Asian Film Festival (SAFF) and the Tokyo International Film Festival 2018 (TIFF).
The competition programme presented 16 feature films, 29 documentaries, nine scientific films and 20 animations. Meanwhile, the panorama programme presented 14 feature films and 16 documentaries.
In the Documentary Category, the Golden Lotus awards went to Chông Chênh (Totter), produced by Việt Nam Television (VTV), reflecting the hard life of Vietnamese women who married local men in Chinese Taipei.
In the Scientific Film Category, no entry met the criteria to receive the Golden Lotus. The Silver Lotus awards went to two films of VTV – A Fight against SARS and Plastic Pollution in the Ocean.
In the Animation Category, the Golden Lotus went to Người Anh Hùng Áo Vải (A Modest Hero), produced by the Việt Nam Animation JSC Company.
Actress Mai Cái Vi (centre) receive the award for Excellent Supporting Actress for her role in Hai Phượng (Furie). Though it's selected to represent Việt Nam at the Oscars 2020, Furie won the Silver Lotus at the VNNFF. — VNS Photo Minh Khánh
“The film festival is an important event of the national cinema industry,” said Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tạ Quang Đông.
“Since it was established by President Hồ Chí Minh in 1953, the cinema industry has made great contributions in preserving and promoting cultural values, spreading the State’s guidelines and reflecting people’s thoughts,” he said.
“Artists, filmmakers and cinema workers have tried and devoted themselves to developing the cinema industry, making it an attractive art and a means to spread fine humane values.”
Đông affirmed that the event was held successfully leaving good impression among artists, audiences, domestic delegations and foreign guests.
“During the five-day festival, 104 films were screened for free at cinemas in Bà Rịa and Vũng Tàu cities attracting nearly 4,000 viewers,” Đông said.
The 22nd edition will be held in 2021 in the central province of Thừa Thiên – Huế. — VNS