Seventeen films will compete for the Golden Lotus award at the 17th National Film Festival to be held in the central province of Phu Yen next month.

Themed "For a Renovated and Integrated Vietnamese Cinema", the festival will run from December 15-17.

The films are set to be diversified and distinct, with little difference between those produced by private studios and State-owned facilities.

"The festival will erase the preconception that films produced by State-owned studios are main stream while private studios focus on entertainment," said veteran director Hai Ninh.

Around 10 out of the total number of films will be those of private studios including Thien Su 99 (Angel 99) and Cong Chua Teen va Ngu Ho Tuong (Teenage Princess and Five Bodyguards), which won the Vietnam Cinematography Association promising actress award in 2009, both produced by the Phuoc Sang Studio.

"I'm producing films without Cinematography Department support. Attending the festival is my sole responsibility," said Phuoc Sang, the studio's director. The opening and closing ceremonies, including the official awards ceremony, will be aired live on the national VTV.

The festival will additionally host activities such as the Vietnamese Film, Reality and Solutions seminar, an exhibition themed Four Decades of the Vietnam Film Festival, and exchanges with the audience in remote areas, soldiers and students.

The 17th festival aims to honour national film industry achievements during 2009-11 while providing artists, managers, producers and film distributors with an opportunity to exchange experiences and promote development. Concurrently, it will enable contact, communication and exchange among artists, film producers and audiences while looking back over the four-decade legacy of the festival itself. /.