Eight short documentaries about contemporary life in Vietnam will be presented free of charge on Feb. 5 night at the Goethe Institute in Hanoi.

The films were made by young amateur filmmakers who last year took part in a six-month workshop conducted by DOCLAB, a centre/lab for documentary filmmaking and video art which is based at the Goethe Institute.

The films were made in a new and experimental style which allowed the filmmakers to foster their personal voices and independent visions of contemporary society. Characters in some of the films are silent because the filmmakers wanted to let the ambient sounds and images tell their stories.

In his 11-minute film Chuyen Moi Nha (The Story of Ones), Pham Ngoc Lan uses the banality of Vietnamese State radio broadcasts to give a face to the unseen voices. The portraits and settings layered atop the aural landscape create questions, provide humour and offer context.

Nguyen Phuong Thao's 10-minute film Nhung Mon Qua (The Gifts) is a direct dialogue between the director and the characters about a well known, yet strange topic: sex. By choosing to film in an open structure, the director is sharing an experience with the viewer and together they discover stories which will never personally belong to them.

English subtitles will accompany the films. Audiences will have the opportunity to meet and talk with filmmakers after the screenings which begin at 8pm./.