Vietnamese Documentary Film Weeks Held in France

Vietnamese documentary films are being screened in France.

the screening (Photo: VNA
At one of the screening. Photo: VNA

Documentary films produced by young Vietnamese directors are being screened in a special programme entitled “L’aventure Varan Vietnam” (Adventure of Varan Vietnam) under the umbrella of the Cinéma du Réel 2023 (International documentary film festival) which is underway in Paris from March 24- April 2, VNA reported.

Director Ha Le Diem’s “Nhung dua tre trong suong” (Children of the Mist), Tran Phuong Thao’s “Uoc mo lam cong nhan” (Pomelo), “Chuyen di cuoi cung cua chi Phung” (The last journey of madame Phung) by Nguyen Thi Tham are three among 20 works introduced at the event.

The works were created in training programmes conducted by Varan Vietnam Productions since 2004.

Speaking at a screening, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang highlighted the significant meaning of the event in welcoming the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic relations and the tenth anniversary of the two countries’ strategic partnership.

He also expressed his hope that intriguing experience through the movies will liven up the special bond between Vietnam and France.

Coming to the film week with 11 screenings and four roundtables with five Vietnamese directors, French, Vietnamese audiences and international friends who love Vietnamese culture have had the experience and understanding more about the country, people and culture of Vietnam through the journey of the actual film in Vietnam such as the production of the film in Vietnam, the target audience of the reality film and the stories of a developing country.

At one of the screening. Photo: VNA
At one of the screening. Photo: VNA

The films reflect lives and emotions of individuals or communities in all walks of life in an open society. Through art works, young filmmakers want to express the desire to rise up of ordinary Vietnamese people.

After interacting with the guests, the Vietnamese ambassador and the audience enjoyed the two films “Grandfather and grandson” by director Nguyen Thi Tham and “Pomelo” by director Tran Phuong Thao.

Founded by Jean Rouch in 1978, Ateliers Varan is a programme dedicated to Direct Cinema and to training filmmakers across the world. In 2004, a team of instructors led by André Van In organized the first Varan workshop in Hanoi. Since then, nine workshops have been held in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.

In 2012, a handful of participants created their own production company, soon followed by their own training programme, Varan Vietnam, in 2016. Several films were born out of this experience and enjoyed screenings in numerous festivals, including Ha Le Diem’s Children of the Mist, which took home the Clarens Prize for Humanist Documentary Filmmaking during the 2022 edition of Cinéma du Réel.

Meanwhile, the largest French cuisine festival in Vietnam “Balade en France” (Walk in France) will return to Hanoi on April 14-16, following the success of the 2018 and 2020 editions, the French Embassy in Vietnam announced on March 28.

The festival, to be held at Ly Thai To Square and the pedestrian area around Hoan Kiem Lake at the heart of the capital city, is one among important events in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the France-Vietnam diplomatic relations.

The event will gather a bevy of French restaurants, importers and brands such as Paysan Breton, Metropole, Red Apron, Marou, Saint Honoré, La Table Hanoia. Visitors will have a chance to taste high-quality products such as milk, chocolate, bread, cheese, jambon, fruits, wine and spirits.

There also will be booths introducing the European country’s tourism, hotels and education system, together with art performances and French film screenings throughout the evenings.

Hannah Nguyen