Anh Thu, a renowned Vietnamese actress, dancer, film director, and film producer, has been selected as one of the judges for the ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards (AIFFA) 2023. The jury panel also includes Malaysians U-Wei Bin Haji Saari and Effendee Mazlan, Turkish Ihsan Nurullah Kabil, and Indonesian Viva Westi.
Established in 2013, AIFFA is a prestigious event that brings together ASEAN directors, cinematographers, actors, and movie enthusiasts to honor outstanding films from the region.
Anh expressed her gratitude at being chosen as a judge, stating, “I’m honored to be one of the judges at AIFFA 2023.” Her successful career began in 1995 when she transitioned from dancing to acting after winning a top prize at the Movie Actors with Potential Contest organized by HCM City’s Cinematography Association. She has since appeared in numerous critically acclaimed films and TV shows produced by both State-owned and private film companies, such as Việt Nam Film Studios and HCM City Television’s Film Studio.
Anh’s talents have been recognized with two Best Actress awards at the Golden Kite Festival and Vietnam Film Festival in 2001 and 2008, both organized by the Vietnam Cinematography Department and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. In 2013, she expanded her career to include directing and producing films by establishing the Blue Productions film agency.
During the AIFFA festival, Anh Thu and the rest of the jury will evaluate 34 movies from Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and the Philippines. Notably, two Vietnamese movies, Memento Mori: Dat and Dem Toi Ruc Ro, will contend for the AIFFA Awards.
Memento Mori: Dat, directed by Marcus Manh Cuong Vu, is a story inspired by real events described in the book “Diem Den Cuar Cuoi Doi” (Destination of Life) by Dang Hoang Giang. The film follows a dying mother’s struggle to leave farewell messages for her daughters while fighting for organ donation. It has a runtime of 85 minutes and will be screened on August 3 with English subtitles. Memento Mori: Dat has garnered nominations for the New Current Award at the Busan International Film Festival and Best Film at the BaliMakarya International Film Festival.
Dem Toi Ruc Ro, directed by American filmmaker Aaron Toronto, has also received critical acclaim. It was the recipient of several awards at the Golden Kite Awards 2022, including Best Feature Film, Best Cinematography, Best Leading Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor. Additionally, the film won the Best Story and Best Female Performance awards at the 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival in New Mexico, USA. Dem Toi Ruc Ro explores the theme of domestic abuse, following the story of a family who discovers that their grandfather has plunged them into debt through gambling, and if they fail to pay by sunrise, there will be dire consequences. The movie will be screened on August 4.