Okia Cinema: A club for cinema enthusiasts in Hanoi
Located in a small and quiet alley in Hoang Hoa Tham street in Hanoi, Okia Cinema is held dearly by cinema enthusiasts as “Hanoi’s smallest cinema” as it can accommodate only 40 viewers.
Director Nguyen Hoang Diep joins a group discussion with audience after the screening at Okia Cinema. (Photo: Okia Cinema)
Open every evening from Friday to Sunday since it was inaugurated three months ago, Okia Cinema has become a popular destination for cinema lovers.
Although it is not equipped with 3D, 4D theatre or state-of-the-art digital technology and sound systems, Okia Cinema is a white and simple room surrounded by a green, cool and naturally friendly area of Okia Hanoi Art and Culture Space.
Started by film director, Nguyen Hoang Diep, and sponsored by Okia Hanoi Art and Culture Space, everything in the cinema is arranged in a minimalist style in order to concentrate on the film on screen.
No matter if it is sunny or rainy, the cinema is fully booked. The screening time is 7:30PM, but the cinema starts welcoming visitors an hour before.
At Okia Cinema, the films are carefully selected by director Nguyen Hoang Diep. Before enjoying the movie, cinema goers are briefed on the film’s story and its director. They are also invited to stay after the film ends to join a group discussion and share their views on the film’s cinematography, lighting and soundtrack, as well as the scene they liked the most.
Le Phuong Lien from Tay Ho district, Hanoi, who has supported the cinema from its very first days, shared that, at Okia Cinema, she found an atmosphere of a home cinema with a cosy house surrounded by bamboo trees and sapodilla fruit trees.
Going to the cinema, she can not only watch films but also exchange talks with those who have a common passion for the Seventh Art.
Cinema goers to Okia Cinema can find an atmosphere of a home cinema with a cosy house surrounded by bamboo trees and sapodilla fruit trees. (Photo: Okia Cinema)
“A quiet and lovely place with interesting films, they remind me greatly of the cinemas in Hanoi in the olden days,” Lien said.
Director Nguyen Hoang Diep said she was happy that the cinema has won the heart of the audience. Many films last for more than two hours, but nobody in the room leaves. The majority of them stay after the screening to talk more about arts and cinematography with the cinema’s staff.
The selection for films to be screened at the cinema do not run according to the audience’s taste or the market’s current trend, but they are chosen to connect the audience together, inspire them, and convey a message that the arts can make people happier and cinema can change people to a more positive view of life.
“We hope that the information we share with the participants before and after the screening will be a a simple and sincere way to help audience to find out the true beauty of cinema,” Diep said.
Director Diep hopes that Okia could even bring a fresher and more inspiring vibration to the audience, even though they have watched the films several times before.
So far, the cinema has spotlighted such films as One Day, Across the Universe, and La vie en rose, which have received great appreciation from the audience./.