Wednesday, May 27 2020


International award winning film to be released in Việt Nam after being fined

Update: April, 06/2020 - 17:44


A scene from Ròm, a Vietnamese drama that was a Busan award winner in 2019, has been granted a licence to be screened in Việt Nam. Photo

HÀ NỘI — Busan award winning film Ròm has officially received a licence to be screened in Việt Nam after being fined for participating in the film festival without approval last October, according to Vi Kiến Thành, director of the Cinema Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, director Trần Thanh Huy’s film has not been given a specific screening date yet.

Labelled C18 - Persons under the age of 18 not admitted – the screened version will contain edits to the original.

Ròm was developed from the short film 16h30, which was screened in the Short Film Corner Category at the Cannes Film Festival 2013. The drama revolves around the life and fate of street children selling lottery tickets every afternoon. The main character, a homeless teenager called Ròm, dreams of earning enough money to find his biological mother. He also has to survive through constant battles on the street.

At the end of 2019, Ròm became the centre of media attention as its producers registered and submitted it to the Busan International Film Festival when it had not been granted approval from a competent State agency.

This violated the revised Cinema Law 2009 which states that films participating at film festivals must have either a distribution licence issued by a State management agency or a broadcasting decision by the head of a television or radio station.

Hoan Khuê Film Production Joint Stock Company (HKFilm) - the production unit of Ròm - was fined VNĐ40 million (US$1,700). In addition to the fine, the company was told to destroy the version screened at the festival.

However, the film still won the top award in the New Currents section in Busan, together with the Iran-Qatar co-production Haifa Street.

It was also the first time a Vietnamese film has won a top award at the most prestigious Asian film festival. — VNS


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