VN’s film critic joins int’l film fest jury
Film critic Ngo Phuong Lan was the first Vietnamese to be asked to join the international jury adjudicating at the Tampere Film Festival. During the festival for short works in Finland last month, Vietnamese cinema featured with 22 films screened. She talks about her work during the festival.
Could you outline the highlight for Vietnamese cinema during the festival?
Five shows screened films during the Vietnam Now programme. Vietnam One featured six animated films by veteran artist Ngo Manh Lan. Most works were made from 1965 to 1995. The works had earlier been acclaimed at international film festivals and won prizes.
A poster of Lan’s Chuyen Ong Giong (The Legend of Giong Hero) was among the main posters at the festival.
The film took the Golden Dove prize at the Leipzig festival in 1971 and won the Golden Lotus prize at the Vietnam Film Festival two years later.
Vietnam Two screened a documentary about war while three shows screened a mixture of documentaries and animated and short films.
Why were the films selected for the festival?
The festival featured documentaries, animations and fiction. Short documentaries and short animated films are popular in Vietnam, but short fiction is rare.
Some short fiction films shown at the festival, such as Story of a Mattress by Bui Kim Quy and Night’s Course, by Thac Chuyen, were made by students for their graduation.
Short documentaries were mainly from the Central Documentary and Science Studio and included late director Le Manh Thich’s Electric Lines to Da River, which took the Golden Dove at the Leipzig festival in 1981. Short documentaries debuting were Citizen of the @era, The Path of Justice, Lasting with Time and Return to Ngu Thuy.
Good independent works introduced included Daddy’s Home; Kien and Ngan and Thanh Cong Village - Thanh Cong Neighbourhood.
Is the festival an opportunity to introduce Vietnamese cinema to the world?
By covering a wide diversity of subjects, the films were a panorama of Vietnamese short films. It is rare for short movies because it is difficult to establish a programme.
Celluloid films have more opportunities and last year, Vietnamese films were introduced in Singapore and South Korea.
To be part of a festival is good for Vietnam cinema while also introducing images of the country and its people.
Because it was good for foreign relations, the event received strong support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a year promoting cultural exchange relationships.
Vietnamese movie makers Ngo Manh Lan, Lai Van Sinh and Bui Kim Quy were invited to the festival as representatives of animated, documentary and fiction films.
They made a brief statement before the shows while the festival organisers also ran a discussion about Vietnamese cinema.
Outline your work as a jury member? What did you think about short films in Finland?
Two competitions for Finnish and international films were held separately with different jury boards. There were 69 works from 38 countries in the international competition.
The juries watch films alongside audiences. After each show, we discuss the films and decide the prizes in final discussion. A grand prize was awarded alongside various prizes for different categories.
I have been invited to nine festivals to judge mainly Asian films and feature films but this was the first time for short films. It was stressful because it was something new. It was hard work watching the 69 films.
In Finland, short films are screened commercially but are mainly seen as a way for film makers to make a mark in the industry. Normally, nine short films are screened show.
Source : vietnamnet.vn
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