Veteran actress ​Kim Xuan (centre) and other actors take part in the opening ceremony of the 20th Vietnamese Film Festival yesterday in Da Nang. (Photo: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) - Film audiences in the central region will enjoy a week-long film festival screening Vietnam’s best new and old films on the occasion of the 20th Vietnamese Film Festival.

The event, which officially opened on November 24, has drawn the participation of young and old actors, actresses, directors and filmmakers from across the country.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 20th Vietnamese Film Festival, he said Vietnamese filmmakers have made unforgettable films that have enriched the country’s national heritage.
 
He called it a significant event that marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, strengthening friendship and solidarity among different nationalities.

“Generations of artists have made great contributions to the development of filmmaking and national culture. Despite difficulties, Vietnam’s cinema industry has still produced unforgettable films to enrich the country’s cultural heritage,” Dam said.

“The renewal process, market economy and open door policy have created more opportunities for the country’s cinema industry to change itself,” he said, adding that the industry should renew its quality to win audiences.

The Deputy PM also urged ministries and relevant agencies to boost cooperation with international friends and artists in fostering innovation and creating new development mechanisms.

He praised the initiative of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in offering the ASEAN Film Awards.

The week-long festival has drawn the participation of young and old actors, actresses, directors and filmmakers from across the country.

Director Dang Nhat Minh, who chairs the jury for the feature category, said members struggled to choose the best among the 16 award-winning films this year.

Le Thi, who chaired the jury for the documentary category, was glad that this year’s festival attracted many young directors with different styles, breathing new life into the country’s film industry.

Ngo Phuong Lan, head of the Vietnam Cinematography Department, said the festival viewers would appreciate the diverse topics of films at the festival.

“We have to offer a fresher festival to satisfy the local audience,” Lan said, adding that the Video category was not included in the 20th festival.

“We have included the ASEAN Film Awards for the first time at the festival, and it’s an important event to mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN this year.”

Lan said young audiences and students will have the chance to talk with actors, actresses, directors and famous artists at cinemas after the film screenings.

Vice Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Vuong Duy Bien stressed the ASEAN Film Awards will highlight the identities and cultures of 10 ASEAN countries. He said the festival will also mark the 65th anniversary of Vietnam Cinematography.

Also the day, a photo exhibition honouring 64 film directors, actors and actresses who made great contributions to the country’s Cinematography opened at the city’s library.

Scriptwriter Doan Minh Tuan said directors of animated cartoons should be honoured at the festival as they are relatively unknown to Vietnamese audience.

He noted that directors, producers and writers of cartoon films are often honoured biennially, which is not sufficient.

Roger Garcia, director of the International Film Festival Hong Kong, said he knew relatively little about Vietnamese film, but was impressed with a documentary film event in Hanoi.

He suggested Vietnam’s and ASEAN’s film industries have a rich tradition but are not well-known in the world.

“ASEAN’s film industry has strong potential with a huge market of more than 600 million people. However, it’s also a challenge for the regional film industry to integrate into the world,” Garcia said. The regional film industry can take opportunities in co-production and co-finance with not only in the region but other countries like Japan.”

 He added that the ASEAN Film Awards mark the first step towards fully establishing the regional film industry.

The film Da Co Hoai Lang (Night Drumbeats Cause Longing for Absent Husband), a production about traditional Vietnamese culture by director Nguyen Quang Dung, has been chosen as the old Vietnamese film to be screened at the ASEAN Film Awards.

As planned, 16 feature films began screening at the city’s cinemas on November 24, along with 32 scientific and documentary films and 18 animated films.-VNA