Nhung Nguoi Con Cua Lang (Children of the Village) and Dap Canh Giua Khong Trung (Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere) will vie for the feature film award of 5,000 USD at the third Hanoi International Film Festival (HANIFF), which kicks off on November 23.

Directed by Nguyen Duc Viet, Children of the Village is a post-war story about a village in the centre of Vietnam. Thap, a former guerrilla leader who survived a massacre, cannot forget the pain of war.

As head of the village, he constantly reminds his fellow villagers of the importance of revenge. However, through historical changes, sacrifice and loss, the village elder finally acknowledges that he should overcome the past and open his heart in order to help his village escape from poverty.

Commissioned by the State and produced by Hong Ngat Film, the film was shot in Dak Rong district in the central province of Quang Tri.

"When I read the script I thought the theme was very tough. It is difficult to make a good film with the post-war theme. But the script was written very well," director Viet said.

The other contender, the first feature by Vietnamese director Nguyen Hoang Diep, won the Venice Film Festival's International Critics' Week award. The protagonist, Huyen, is a young girl who needs money to procure an abortion. Her boyfriend Tung suddenly disappears after losing their money in a cockfight.

"I chose this title because I wanted to express the confusion people feel when they are not able to fly high but do not feel safe enough to land. That's why they keep flapping around in the middle of nowhere," said Diep.

Made with a budget of 410,000 euros (551,000 USD), the film received financial support from the Berlin International Film Festival's World Cinema Fund, Global Film Initiative and French World Cinema. After attending many international film festivals in Italy, Canada and Taipei, Flapping in The Middle of Nowhere will finally debut in Vietnam.

Other Vietnamese movies will be screened in the Panorama and Vietnam Today sections. The Panorama programme will introduce new movies Diu Dang (Gentle), Nuoc (Water), Nhung Nguoi Viet Huyen Thoai (Legend Makers), Song Cung Lich Su (Living with History) and documentary Thien Nhan.

The Vietnam Today programme will show 11 recent highlights of Vietnamese cinema including blockbuster Scandal Two, award-winning Than Tuong (Idol) and horror film Doat Hon (Hollow).-VNA