A 24-minute film entitled "Picture. Perfect" by American director Winston Tao has won the highest prize, the Golden Heart Award, at the Vietnam International YxineFF 2013 online short film contest, which screened 76 films selected from 200 entries worldwide.

The film also won the jury's Best Film prize, Best Male Acting Performance prize for Reese Mischler, the Screenplay award for Winston Tao and Aaron Tao, and Best Editing award for Tiffany Melvin.

The film, which tells the story of a 17-year-old boy who is passionate about photography, is a moving and profound film. The 24 shots in a film roll which the boy puts into his camera to capture his family's destitute life are indicative of the film's perfect script and rich cinema language, as well as its director's expertise, said contest officials.

The short film Mija won the Best Directing prize for South Korean director Jeon Hyo-jeong and Best Female Acting Performance to actress Kim Ja-young.

Mija is also a technically outstanding short film, which revolves around the internal conflicts that a lonely, middle-aged woman experiences, according to the jury.

In its 4th season, the YxineFF 2013 has grown notably in its professionalism and attracted more foreign films to enter the competition.

Compared to those films which entered and won awards in its first years, the directors whose films are screened and won prizes this year have made great strides in maturity, cinema mentality and filmmaking techniques.

Several other films, such as "Khong co gi quy" (Even just for one day) by Vietnam's Nguyen Trong Khoi, "Ruggero" by Italy's Franco Dipietro and "Superman, Spiderman after Batman" by Romania's Tudor Giurgiu, also add fresh viewpoints and leave a deep impression among audiences.

"Khong co gi quy", which was broadcast online and at cinemas, was enthusiastically embraced by the audiences for its stunning images and profound message. Its director, an architecture student, has only recently taken up film making.

Founded by local youths, including Marcus Manh Cuong Vu, Phan Gia Nhat Linh and Vu Quynh Ha, YxineFF has overcome difficulties in its initial years, with its name known increasingly among film buffs, attracting sponsorship and partnership, as well as regular and seasonal contributors.

The festival has also grown in scale, attracting directors from around the world, though foreign films still enjoy an upper hand over local films.

"Vietnamese independent cinema is quite young," said film maker Phan Dang Di. "It requires special support. Each individual, if he or she just tries to work alone, can contribute only a single voice."

Film producer Tran Thi Bich Ngoc insisted that in this difficult time, young independent film makers needed more support and to tightly co-operate with one another to create a community.

Award winners

Golden Heart: Best Film from International Competition: Picture. Perfect. (2012)
Best Editing: Jeon Hyo-jeong (Republic of Korea), Mija (2012)
Best Screenplay: Winston Tao and Aaron Tao (USA), Picture. Perfect.
Best Cinematography: Kim Tae-Soo (Republic of Korea), Sweet Temptation (2013)
Best Editing: Tiffany Melvin (USA) Picture. Perfect.
Best Male Acting Performance: Reese Mischler (USA), Picture. Perfect.
Best Female Acting Performance: Kim Ja-young (Republic of Korea), Mija (2012)
Press - Critic Award: Vietnamese Heart: Best Vietnamese Film from International & Local Competition: Ong noi (2012).-VNA