Four Vietnamese films will be screened at the ongoing 70th Cannes Film Festival in France, as Vietnam Cinema Department (VCD) is running a first-ever campaign to promote the country’s film industry at the event.
A series of promotional activities are being organized by VCD over the course of the film event, which runs from May 17-28 in Cannes, France.
The Vietnamese cinema department is running an expo at Cannes’ Marché du Film (Film Market) from May 17-26, where Vietnamese films are screened and materials promoting beautiful sites in Vietnam are exhibited to help filmmakers decide on their filming location.
On Saturday night, it will host a Vietnam Night as part of the Cannes program, during which a memorandum of cooperation between VCD and France’s National Center for Cinema and the Moving Image (CNC) will be closed. The memorandum will serve as proof of the countries’ strengthened ties in the field of motion pictures.
New films of Vietnam that have achieved success at national and regional film festivals in the last couple of years will also be introduced at the night.
One such film is Dao Cua Dan Ngu Cu (The Way Station), which won Best Film, Best Leading Actor, and Best Director of Photography at the 2017 ASEAN International Film Festival And Awards (AIFFA) in Malaysia earlier this month.
Directed by Hong Anh, The Way Station revolves around a small Vietnamese fishing village and the relationships between its inhabitants, each with their own inner struggles.
Actress Ngoc Thanh Tam, who starred in Hong Anh’s The Way Station, poses on the red carpet at the 70th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 17, 2017. Photo: Yan Maisani
“It’s a coincidence that the first time I attended Cannes was eight years ago in 2009 on the invitation of CNC to present the The Way Station project,” actress-director Hong Anh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper from France.
“Coming to Cannes this time to introduce the finished film to international friends as a director seems like a predestined chance.”
Hong Anh said she always tries to bring to Cannes some new discoveries from Vietnam every year.
“In 2013, the discovery was rising director Tran Dung Thanh Huy with his short film 16:30,” Hong Anh said.
“This year, it’s my two promising actors Pham Hong Phuoc and Ngoc Thanh Tam.
“For a new director, to have his or her film screened at Cannes, even though it is not in competition [for the Palme d’Or], is a great honor.”
Three other Vietnamese films to be showcased at the 2017 Cannes are Vo Ba (The Third Wife) by Nguyen Phuong Anh, Vi (Taste) by Le Bao, and Culi Khong Bao Gio Khoc (Culi Never Cries) by Pham Ngoc Lan.
The first of the three was selected as part of the ‘Hong Kong goes to Cannes’ program, which offers promising works-in-progress an opportunity to be showcased at Cannes to look for sales agents, distributors and festival selection.
The last two were among 15 entries for The Cinefondation’s Atelier, a Cannes competition that looks to stimulate creative filmmaking and encourage the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers.
“I’m beyond happy to see other Vietnamese film projects being featured in Cannes through different ways,” said Hong Anh.
“As I always say, everyone has a place at Cannes, as long as you have a burning passion for cinema.”