Dang Nhat Minh Receives Bui Xuan Phai Award for 2023

For the 16th year, the Hanoi Award for Excellence is back to recognize ideas, works, actions, and invaluable contributions to the city of Hanoi. This year, it goes to renowned director Dang Nhat Minh for his extraordinary achievements.

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Director Dang Nhat Minh was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2023 Bui Xuan Phai Award-For the Love of Hanoi, for his cinematic works related to Hanoi’s historical milestones such as “Hanoi in the Winter of ’46,” “Guava House,” and “Jasmine.” The award ceremony took place in Hanoi on October 5.

Born in Hue in 1938, Director and People’s Artist Dang Nhat Minh didn’t move to Hanoi until two years after Capital Liberation Day in 1956. However, over the past 60 years, Hanoi has played a pivotal role in shaping him as an artist-filmmaker, evoking a multitude of emotions.

Director Dang Nhat Minh receives the Grand Prize. Photo: VNA

“Hanoi in My Heart is something that cannot be replaced, no matter where I go. Hanoi has shaped me as an artist-filmmaker. I have come this far all because of Hanoi,” he said.

Dang Nhat Minh’s films reflect his deep attachment and understanding of Hanoi, showcasing different periods of the capital city. “Hanoi in the Winter of ’46,” “Guava House,” and “Jasmine” each capture a distinct era and demonstrate Minh’s profound bond with the city.

Scripts of films directed by Dang Nhat Minh. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

Director Dang Nhat Minh believes that the development of his films about Hanoi was driven by fate. He describes his approach to filmmaking as based on emotions, unintentionally intertwined with critical historical periods of Hanoi. The Grand Prize is a recognition of his love for the capital, as expressed through his cinematic works.

In addition to the Bui Xuan Phai Award, Dang Nhat Minh has received numerous accolades throughout his career. He was the first Vietnamese citizen to receive the Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture in 1991 and the first Vietnamese director to be honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2010. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gwangju International Film Festival in South Korea in 2005 and the Licorne d’Or d’Honneur (Golden Unicorn Award) at the 36th Amiens International Film Festival in 2016. In 2022, he was awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture for his contributions to promoting cultural understanding between Vietnam and France.

The 16th Bui Xuan Phai Award-For the Love of Hanoi 2023 also presented other prizes. The Work Prize was awarded to the book “Hang Bot Street, A ‘Trivial’ Story to Remember” by Ho Cong Thiet, and the photo exhibition “Hanoi Streets 1985-2015: In the Years of Forgetting” by William E. Crawford, organized in collaboration with Manzi Art Space, Art Vietnam Gallery, and the US Embassy in Vietnam. The Action Prize was awarded to the Hanoi Autumn Festival, hosted by the Hanoi Promotion Center (Hanoi People’s Committee). The Idea Award went to Hanoi Municipality, Hanoi Metropolitan University, and related units for their efforts in making “Hanoi Studies” a subject of general education in Hanoi.

Suzanne Lecht, director of Art Vietnam Gallery, co-organizer of photo exhibition Hanoi Streets 1985-2015: In the Years of Forgetting by William E. Crawford. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

According to Ha Minh Hai, Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, the Bui Xuan Phai Award-For the Love of Hanoi aims to inspire authors to create cultural works and promote activities that contribute to the love for Hanoi. The award holds significance as it supports the cultural development of the capital city, as outlined in City Party Committee’s Resolution No. 09. Historian Duong Trung Quoc, a representative of the jury, emphasized the challenge of selecting the winners among many worthy ideas and works that beautify the capital.

Established in 2008, the Bui Xuan Phai Award-For the Love of Hanoi is organized by the Sports and Culture Newspaper (Vietnam News Agency) and the family of the late artist Bui Xuan Phai. It recognizes authors, works, ideas, and endeavors that exhibit high scientific and artistic value, infused with love for Hanoi.