The 20th Vietnam Film Festival has dazzled the central coastal city of Da Nang for the last few days. This year features a new award’s ceremony for ASEAN motion pictures as part of celebrations for the bloc’s 50th founding anniversary. The festival and new award show the ASEAN countries’ movie makers dream to write their names on the world’s motion picture map.

Themed “Building a modern and humane cinematic industry”, the 20th Vietnam Film Festival aims to honour local cinematographic works featuring the traditional characteristics of creativity and pay tribute to movie makers and artists who have made outstanding contributions to the national movie industry.

Vietnam’s initiative to hold the ASEAN Film Awards within the framework of the festival is a highlight of the event, drawing great attention of ASEAN nations. Even though the awards are being held for the first time, 10 regional movies are competing.

“The award makes this year’s festival very significant as 2017 marks the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN,” said Ngo Phuong Lan, Head of the Vietnam Cinematography Department. From now on, the ASEAN Film Awards will be held annually, Lan revealed.

Besides the ASEAN Film Awards, a seminar themed “Road for ASEAN movies to reach the world” was also held, gathering both Vietnamese and international motion picture experts and actors to discuss issues and prospects of the bloc’s cinema industry. Developing good plotlines, raising funds, cooperation among stakeholders and public relations were discussed during the seminar.

There are more and more Vietnamese films with incredibly high box office revenue and warm receptions from Vietnamese audiences. However, Vietnamese film still has a long way to go to integrate into the world’s film industry.

Film director Victor Vu said: “Foreign movie lovers may be into humane stories which can touch audiences, or say, a movie in which anyone can find themselves in despite their country of origin.”

He said Vietnam’s cultural traits and other distinctive values can also make a movie more attractive to foreign movie goers.

The motion picture industry of ASEAN in general and Vietnam in particular have a long way to go to touch international movie lovers. However, the ASEAN Film Awards and other activities are steps in the right direction.-VNA