With its wealth of cultural heritage and untapped potential, the Asian continent is perfectly positioned to demonstrate its diversity through this ambitious cinematic undertaking. By doing so, it would provide a unique opportunity for audiences around the world to experience the vibrant culture, customs, and traditions of the region. This would be a great platform for Asian filmmakers to share their stories and create a dialogue about common issues and challenges. Furthermore, it could also help promote intercultural understanding and foster collaboration between countries in the region. In short, this ambitious project could be a game-changer for Asian cinema and a great way to celebrate the continent’s rich and varied culture.

The visionary behind this venture is Linda Gozali, a renowned Indonesian film producer and industry leader. With her deep knowledge of the film industry, she has created an innovative platform that has the potential to revolutionize the entertainment industry.

She expressed her aspirations during a captivating exchange event among esteemed film directors, producers, actors, and actresses at the five-day Da Nang Asian Film Festival (DANAFF) held last May 10.

Gozali firmly believes that by combining their forces, Asian nations can leverage the abundance of their traditional cultures and create a powerful action film that would be a formidable rival to the giants of the international film industry. This collective effort would provide a distinct and intriguing cinematic experience that is sure to captivate audiences around the globe.

She declared her intention to support the Vietnamese movie industry and bring Indonesian film products closer to the Vietnamese audience.

Gozali and her family’s film company joined the DANAFF festival with the film The Unholy – a film about Uztadz Qodrat, who employed ruqyah (spirit possession and exorcism in Islam) to assist people but failed to save his own son. The story of Uztadz Qodrat and his son is one of tragedy and hope, as he strives to use his knowledge and abilities to help others despite the ultimate cost to his own family. The film captures the struggles and triumphs of not only Uztadz Qodrat but also the people he helps, as it examines the power of faith and the consequences of its misuse.

The Indonesian producer also said the film began shooting in 2020, but had to change locations three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, it was completed in 2021.

Vietnamese young director Ha Le Diem, 32, shared that the film Những Đứa Trẻ Trong Sương (Children of the Mist) was an endeavor of her first feature documentary film project. She hopes that the film will inspire and empower those who watch it.

Her film, which was included in the shortlist of 15 contenders for the best documentary feature film category of the 95th Academy Awards (Oscar 2023), tells the story of a 12-year-old Mông ethnic girl living in a village of the northwest mountainous region – where the tradition of ‘bride-kidnapping’ takes place. On Lunar New Year’s Eve, she suddenly disappeared.

Diem remembered spending three and a half years to complete the filming of a movie in 2017, but sadly was not able to raise enough money for its production. Nonetheless, her work still stands as a testament to her passion for the art.

The young director asserted that a fund should be established to support young film producers, so that they can have the opportunity to create films.

The Republic of Korea’s film actress-director-screenwriter, Moon Sori, has suggested that the Vietnamese film industry has the potential to join the global movie industry in the future. To do so, she argued that it is essential to develop all aspects of characters in filmmaking.

She stated that the festival provides an opportunity to promote the country’s movies to friends around the world.

Moon, who heads the jury at the festival, has declared her intention to watch all Vietnamese films and provide a comprehensive review of the most impressive one.

“Vietnam holds a special place in my heart as my uncle now resides in Ho Chi Minh City,” she said with a warm smile. “I find the people to be incredibly friendly.”

Aaron Toronto, director of The Brilliant Darkness, said his film was initially met with mixed reactions, but eventually the audience welcomed it with open arms.

He said it’s not an entertainment film, but a tough psychology and arduous topic of what was happening in society.

Indian director Siddhant Sarin competed in the Asian in-competition at the festival with Mirror, a momentary act that had a transformative effect on the lives of two young Indian women after they experienced an acid attack.

He stated that the movie is not just about two characters, but also about friendship and the innermost emotions of the two women.

Japanese director Mayu Nakamura took her film Intimate Stranger to the festival, focusing on a middle-aged single mother’s search for her missing son.

Nakamura stated that middle-aged single mothers are rare in Japan, and that the film effectively conveys the unique mindset of the mother.

She said that the Japanese film industry had enjoyed success in the past, but it has yet to fully recover its former prosperity.

The director said Japan has few female directors, and story-telling in film production has yet to attract an international audience, while the country’s movie industry has been searching for export.

Allen Dizon, who was cast in Abenida, said the film was built from the truth story of a small town in the Philippines and the life of a woodcarver and artist after his wife left him. Drawing on his personal experiences, Dizon was able to bring a unique realism to the character, and the film as a whole.

He said it’s the film’s first time attending the Asian festival.

Vietnamese actor Bui Bai Binh, who acted in the film “Scars of the Heart,” shared that everyone has sorrows in real life, but only the love of others can heal the “spiritual wounds.” He believes that by showing compassion and understanding, we can help to heal the emotional pain we all face throughout our lives.

The festival is also a great opportunity for Vietnamese directors and producers to share experience and advice from internationally renowned experts and famous filmmakers.

Forty-six films from Asia, including sixteen from Vietnam, were screened at the festival over a weekend, with an award announcement to follow.