Vietnamese movie wins top prize at French film festival

(VOVWORLD) - The Vietnamese feature film "Tro tan Ruc Ro" (Glorious Ashes) by Bui Thac Chuyen won the "Golden Balloon" award at the Festival des 3 Continents, also known as the Three Continents Film Festival, in Nantes, France. The jury said they gave the award to this film "for the poetic beauty of the world the film portrays, which is both shimmering and bewitching, as well as for the very loving and very mischievous portrayal of its three heroines." The film debuted in Vietnam on Friday.

Vietnamese movie wins top prize at French film festival - ảnh 1A scene from the movie  “Glorious Ashes” (Photo courtesy of CGV)

The film is adapted from two short stories "Củi Mục Trôi Về" (Drifting Firewood) and "Glorious Ashes" by Vietnamese writer Nguyen Ngoc Tu, who won the 2008 Southeast Asian Writers Award. The film, starring Phuong Anh Dao, Bao Ngoc Doling, and Hanh Thuy, is about three women caught in distinct yet strangely related love stories, wrapped in inner conflicts and suppression.

Dr. Dao Le Na, of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City, said of the movie: “It's been a long time since I saw a Vietnamese movie that is full of emotions and also raises a lot of issues for me to think about. Glorious Ashes" is a poetic and intriguing movie based on two short stories with different angles of view. It’s about the lives of Southern people who are struggling in life."

"From two different stories, director Bui Thac Chuyen was able to depict the lives of different characters and connect them into his movie. This is one of very few movies about life in the Mekong Delta and one of the rare films of Vietnamese cinema that makes viewers feel the closeness to the river of the Southern land. It is worth looking forward to. And I hope the audience will see on the big screen a lot of beautiful and emotional images,” Na said. 

Vietnamese movie wins top prize at French film festival - ảnh 2The movie “Glorious Ashes” is screened at the Three Continents Film Festival, in Nantes, France (Photo: VOV)

The Festival des 3 Continents has been held annually since 1979 to honor cinematic works from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The Vietnamese film “Glorious Ashes”, which won the top prize this year, has become a phenomenon in Vietnam’s movie industry. This is good news for the industry after a difficult year due to COVID-19.

Producer Tran Thi Bich Ngoc said she has followed this movie project with director Bui Thac Chuyen for 7 years despite difficulties because of the director's enthusiasm and belief that the audience will see many interesting things about this story.

“Glorious Ashes” is one of very few films featuring the life of local people in Ca Mau, the southernmost point of Vietnam. In this area, there are some interesting people who lead simple lives. The audience may find empathy with the characters, with the love in the story, or with answers for themselves. Maybe the audience will find many different angles, different feelings when watching the movie. I think the film has enough material and cultural life to create curiosity and attraction for the audience to watch,” Ngoc said. 

Director Phan Dang Di, one of the famous independent filmmakers in Vietnam, said: “The jury awarding the highest prize to the film of director Bui Thac Chuyen is a good sign for the Vietnamese movie industry. The French film festival has been receptive of a number of other Vietnamese films, including “Travelling Circus” directed by Viet Linh and “The Long Journey” by Le Hoang, but “Glorious Ashes” is the first Vietnamese movie to win the top prize at this festival.”

The “Glorious Ashes” was the first Vietnamese film to compete at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) 2022. It won the Asia Project Award at the 2017 Busan International Film Festival in the Republic of Korea.

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