Two Vietnamese Films Wow Audiences At ASEAN International Film Festival
|A scene from the film "Dem toi ruc ro" (The Brilliant Darkness). Photo: thethaovanhoa.vn
Director and actor Hong Anh is the representative of Vietnam on the jury. Vietnamese cinema has two films that entered the official competition round.
The organizers said that at this year's season, the ASEAN International Films Festival & Awards has 120 films from Southeast Asian countries. The opening ceremony will be held at Kuching Island, Sarawak, Malaysia on August 2.
Among the five members of this year's ASEAN International Film Festival Jury, there is director and actor Hong Anh from Vietnam. The remaining members include U-Wei Bin Haji Saari (Head of Jury - Malaysia), Ihsan Nurullah Kabil (International Judge - Turkey), Viva Westi (Indonesia), and Effendee Mazlan (Malaysia).
Sharing before the departure, director-actress Hong Anh said that she was honored to be invited to be a member of the jury of the 2023 ASEAN International Film Festival.
“Kuching Island is an interesting land. This is also the place that marks the recognition of the international film industry for my directing role in my debut film 'Island of the Inhabitants.' For me, this is truly a return. There are a few emotions inside of me, both a little nervous and excited. Especially, when the Vietnamese films featured in this film festival come from filmmakers that I respect," said director-actor Hong Anh.
At this year's ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards, Vietnam has two representatives participating in the official competition round: Memento Mori: Dat (Memento Mori: Earth), directed by Marcus Manh Cuong Vu and the film Dem toi ruc ro (The brilliant darkness) by director Aaron Toronto.
|Scene in the film "Island of the Inhabitants." Photo: nld.com.vn
In particular, the film "Memento Mori: Earth" directed by Marcus Manh Cuong Vu is a psychological and family film with the theme of near-death cancer patients, which premiered in Vietnam in October 2022.
The context of the film is a residential area of poor working people in the highlands with the story of a family who has cancer.
Van is a woman who accepts her cancer in its final stage. She finds many ways to connect and send messages to relatives including her biological father, husband, and children.
Besides, she is also determined to fulfill her wish to donate organs, which is not yet popular and subject to many prejudices in society.
The movie "The brilliant darkness" is about domestic violence in Vietnam. The film is directed by American director Aaron Toronto and his wife, actress Nha Uyen, who is also the female lead and screenwriter. The story revolves around a night of mourning for the family of Toan (Kien An).
He has three children, Kim Hoang (Vu Xuan Trang), Xuan Thanh (Nha Uyen) and Kim Bao (Kim B). They returned home for their grandfather's funeral after many years of not seeing each other.
In the middle of the funeral, Toan confessed to owe a lot of money. He needs to pay before 6 am the next morning so as not to be killed by the gangsters. The children pushed each other because each of them had problems. The evening became a ticking time bomb for Toan's family.
Director Aaron Toronto lived in Vietnam for 16 years, studying the funeral customs of the South for many years before making the film.
The film won the Golden Kite Award in 2021, and won two awards for Best Story and Best Performance: female for actress Nha Uyen at Santa Fe-Independent Film Festival in the US in 2022.
The film has a revenue of more than VND20 billion (US$846,2 thousand), even though it is an independent film with a picky subject.
|The ASEAN International Films Festival & Awards (AIFFA) is held every two years, starting in 2013. After the pandemic, the 2021 edition of the film festival is made available online on a small scale. Therefore, this year's 6th edition is expected to be a brilliant comeback, both in terms of scale and quality.
A new feature of this year's ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards-AIFFA 2023 is a short film competition for university students with the theme of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
At this time, AIFFA 2023 will award 12 official awards for Southeast Asian filmmakers. The Gala Awards Night will take place on August 4, 2023.
Before that, also at AIFFA, in 2017, the film "Island of the Inhabitants" by director Hong Anh made a big splash, setting a record of the film festival when it won 8 nominations/9 official award categories.
The film won big with 3 important awards, including the grand prize for Best Picture.
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