2019 Vietnam Film Festival: many innovations and improvements of entries’ quality

NDO - The 21st Vietnam Film Festival has officially wrapped up in Vung Tau city, the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, with a spreading echo.


Through outstanding films in four categories of motion picture, documentary, science films, and cartoons, it can be seen that film makers have paid much attention to improving the quality and innovating the contents of the cinematographic works.

From hundreds of films, the jury board, consisting of prestigious and professional film makes and cinematographers selected 16 motion films, 29 documentaries, nine science films and 20 cartoons for competition; as well as 14 motion films and 16 documentaries for screening during the panorama programme. Out of 16 motion films for competition, four made by state-owned film studios and others by private studios. Many films gained revenues of hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dongs as they were screened at cinemas.

At the awards ceremony for the festival, ‘Song Lang’ (The Tap Box), which was directed by Le Nhat Quang and produced by Ngo Thanh Van, won the Golden Lotus Award in the motion picture category. Meanwhile, three Silver Lotus Awards in the motion picture category were given to ‘Hai Phuong’ (Furie) by director Le Van Kiet, ‘Cua Lai Vo Bau’ (Winning Back My Pregnant Wife) by Nhat Trung, and ‘Truyen Thuyet Ve Quan Tien’ (Legend of Quan Tien) by Dinh Tuan Vu. Many expertsand audiences said that the above triumphs are worthy and convincing, showing the cinematographers’ attention to artistic and innovative works.

Individuals participating in the ‘Song Lang’ film also brought home Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Film Designer Awards.

The film revolves around the stories of friendship, love and family sentiment as well as the characters’ desire to change their lives and redeem their mistakes from the past. Notably, the artists’ everlasting concerns about the traditional theatre genre of ‘cai luong’ (reformed opera) were highlighted quite subtly and deeply. The film’s makers also elaborately and meticulously invested in other elements: script, techniques and background. The peasant ‘cai luong’ artist Huu Chau hailed the enthusiasm of the film’s director and crew. ‘Song Lang’ was also honoured with the Silver Lotus Award 2018, the Blue Star Award 2018, the ‘outstanding film’ award 2018 by Ho Chi Minh City Cinema Association, and many other international prizes.

The Golden Lotus Awards in the documentary and cartoons categories went to ‘Chong chenh’ (Tottering) by Ta Quynh Tuand ‘Nguoi anh hung ao vai’ (From Zero to Hero) by Phung Van Ha.

The results of the 21st Vietnam Film Festival have closely followed the set criteria, towards ‘building a Vietnamese cinema industry with humanity, creativity and integration’. The main objective of high quality and professionalism towards cinematographic works imbued with national identities, humane contents and ideas, new and creative expression, along with the cinema’s international integration, were shown through the results of each category. The number of young artists who won individual awards is quite high, such as Hoang Yen Chibi (thebest leading actress), Cat Vi (the best supporting actress), and Issac (the best supporting actor).

Besides the exciting participation of private film studios, this year’s festival marked innovation in contents and forms as well as many awards of state-owned and military units, includingVietnam Television, People’s Army Cinema, Vietnam Animation Studio and the Central Documentary and Scientific Films Studio.

The 21st Vietnam Film Festival took place in the context of the country’s international integration in many fields, including cinema. The event introduced audiences to new films and honoured outstanding artists and cinematographic works, while offering opportunities for film makers to exchange, share experience and seek cooperation. During the five days of the event, there were 57 screenings of 104 films in four cinemas inVung Tau city, attracting 3,983 audiences. Earlier, a film week was held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from November 6-12 to celebrate the 21st Vietnam Film Festival, featuring 30 films and attracting 3,962 audiences. An exhibition themed ‘Vietnamese seas and islands through the cinematic perspective’ was a new feature of the film festival, spotlighting the beauty and affirming the country’s sovereignty over the seas and islands. In addition, film equipment through historical stages of many studios, including Giai Phong (Liberation) Film Studios, Vietnam Feature Film Studio and the Central Documentary and Scientific Films Studio.

Notably, two seminars, themed ‘the film background in Vietnam’ and ‘Improving the quality of Vietnamese films during the period of international integration’, created opportunities for domestic and foreign artists to discuss and exchange about the trade as well as assess the country’s cinema at the present time.

During the 66 years formation and development, Vietnamese cinema has significantly contributed to preserving and promoting the cultural values, meeting the requirements for the nation’s sustainable development. Artists, producers, publishers, distributors and managers have made efforts to promote the position of the cinema, an attractive art industry to bring the public to the humane values.