Vietnam has five feature, two short films and three projects entered in the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) to be held in October.
This is the first time that Vietnam has so many films selected for the festival, one of the biggest in Asia. Four of them have yet to premiere.
“The fact that ‘Thua Me Con Di’ and other movies were chosen for this year’s festival proves that Vietnamese films are balancing between pop culture and art,” Trinh Dinh Le Minh, director of “Thua Me Con Di” (Goodbye Mother) said. “I believe art is not far away but very close to the audience.”
Let us take a brief look at the five films:
Director: Tran Thanh Huy
Release date: To be announced (TBA)
“Rom” will compete in the New Currents category meant for the first or second feature film of a director. This is considered the most important category at Busan.
Developed from the critically acclaimed short film “4:30 p.m.”, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, “Rom” is about a teenage boy named Rom who lives in the slums of Saigon and buys lottery tickets for people in the neighborhood. His aim is to collect enough money to find his parents, who abandoned him years ago.
2. Thua Me Con Di (Goodbye Mother)
Director: Trinh Dinh Le Minh
Release date: August 16, 2019.
It is the directional debut of Trinh Dinh Le Minh. It has been chosen for “A Window on Asian Cinema”, a category for the latest and most talked about films by directors in Asia.
The romantic drama tells the story of a gay couple returning to Vietnam after years of living in the U.S. and struggling to come out with their family, and the parents coming to terms with their only son’s sexuality.
3. Anh Trai Yeu Quai (My Annoying Brother)
Director: Vu Ngoc Phuong
Release date: November 29, 2019.
Another movie in “A Window on Asian Cinema” section is a comedy drama, a remake of the popular South Korean film of the same name. It tells the story of two half-brothers making peace with each other after bad blood in the beginning.
4. Bac Kim Thang (Home Sweet Home)
Director: Tran Huu Tan
Release date: October 25, 2019.
The horror film is inspired by a Vietnamese folk song called “Bac Kim Thang”. It revolves around a 20-year-old man who returns home after spending six months in hospital and finds out that his cousin has committed suicide. Then he begins to feel her presence in the house. The film is also entered in “A Window on Asian Cinema” section.
5. Bi Mat Cua Gio (Secret of The Wind)
Director: Nguyen Phan Quang Binh
Release date: TBA
“Bi Mat Cua Gio” will have its world premiere in Busan where it will also be screened in the “A Window on Asian Cinema” section. The romantic thriller tells the story of Linh, an art student who meets a ghost when she moves into her new house. Linh then goes on a quest to solve the mysterious death of the person who became the ghost, and realizes the real values in life.
Two Vietnamese short films have also made it this year: “Ngot, Man” (Sweet, Savory) by Duong Dieu Linh in the Asian Short Film category and “Hay Thuc Tinh va San Sang” (Be Awake and Ready) of Pham Thien An in the Short Films Introduction category.
In the Special Focus category that introduces women filmmakers, Vietnam’s Trinh Thi Minh Ha has a documentary, “Forgetting Vietnam”.
In the project section, “Skin of Youth” by Nguyen Phuong Anh, Picturehouse by Nguyen Vo Nghiem Minh and “Cuoc San Tan Nhan” (The Cruel Hunt) by Nguyen Huu Tuan have been selected for competition.
The Busan International Film Festival will take place in the namesake city in South Korea from October 3 to 12.
This year’s festival will feature 303 films from 85 countries, with 97 feature films and 23 short films making their world premiere.
There will be 55 films from over 20 countries and territories are selected for the “A Window on Asian Cinema” section. The two best movies in the section will receive the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award, which recognizes new talents in Asian cinema, and $10,000.
The three-member jury comprising Iranian auteur Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Busan program director Huh Moonyung and Malaysian filmmaker Tan Chui Mui will choose the two winning films.