A scene from The Unseen River directed by Phạm Ngọc Lân. — Photo courtesy of MEKONG 2030 project
HÀ NỘI — The Unseen River directed by Phạm Ngọc Lân will be internationally premiered at the Pardi di domani shorts competition of the Locarno Film Festival which will be held on August 5-15.
The Unseen River will be available online, free of charge, on platforms of Locarno Film Festival with unrestricted worldwide access in order to reach the widest possible audience.
The short film tells the story about Nguyễn Minh Châu, a woman travelling upstream to find a lover she hasn’t seen in 30 years, and is told alongside a story of a young couple travelling downstream to a strange temple in search of a cure for chronic insomnia.
Through carefully crafted cinematography and dialogue, the film examines the metaphorical connection between the Mekong River, time and sleep.
Lân is the director and producer of short films such as Blessed Land (2019), Another City ( 2016) and The Story of Ones (2011).
“The message of my film is the relationship of people to the river,” said Lân. “It affects the way that people think, not only from the present, but also from the past. The attachment to the river is not something we can separate.”
Produced by the Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF), The Unseen River is one of five short films from the MEKONG 2030 anthology, a collection of narratives that envision the future of the Mekong River from different national and cultural perspectives within the region.
It will also be screened with MEKONG 2030 online at the Krakow Green Film Festival on August 16-23, Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival on September 5-12 and in theatres at Five Flavours in Warsaw from November 25 to December 2.
MEKONG 2030 anthology was born out of an urgent need to shine a light on the challenges faced by the Mekong River. Set in the year 2030, the narratives aim both to entertain and inspire audiences to actively protect this critical life source.
The other four short films in MEKONG 2030 include Soul River (director Kulikar Sotho, Cambodia), The Che Brother (director Anysay Keola, Laos), The Forgotten Voices of the Mekong (director Sai Naw Kham, Myanmar) and The Line (director Anocha Suwichakornpong, Thailand). — VNS