Film crew of "Em la ba noi cua anh" (Miss Granny) at the event. (Source: laodong.com)

HCM City (VNA) - The 19th Vietnam Film Festival kicked off at Hoa Binh Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City on December 1 under the theme “Vietnam’s Cinema – Ethnicity, Humanity, Innovation and Integration”.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Vuong Duy Bien said this year’s festival will be an opportunity for Vietnam to promote its innovative film industry imbued with national identity, and honour outstanding individuals devoted to the industry’s development.

In its 62-year history, the cinema has played a significant role in introducing the country’s culture and landscapes to the world, he added.

A highlight of this year’s event was free screenings of 33 films in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang from November 18 to 24.

The jury includes Artist of Merit/Director Vu Xuan Hung; Artist of Merit/Director/Actor Le Cung Bac, Artist of Merit/Director/Actor/Producer Dang Tat Binh and Screenwriter Luu Nghiep Quynh.

Works competing in the festival are divided into four main categories – feature films, video films, documentaries, scientific films and animation.

Awards will also be presented to the best director, best screenwriter, best cinematographer, best actor and actress in supporting roles, best actor and actress in leading roles, best production design and best soundtrack.

People’s choice awards will be given to two films in each category.

The 18th Vietnam Film Festival, held in northern Quang Ninh province in 2013, presented golden lotus awards to “Legend Makers” and “Scandals – Red Carpet Secrets” (feature films); “Yellow Ox” (animation), “Secrets of Ancient Statues” (scientific film), “An opportunity was missed” (documentary) and “The Partner” (video film).-VNA