Attending the opening ceremony of Haniff 2018 was the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam; the Head of the Festival Steering Committee, Mr Nguyen Duc Chung; Ms. Ngo Phuong Lan, Director of Cinema Department; Head of Organization Committee; and General Director of Haniff 2018. Many other government officials and foreign guests were also present.
This fifth edition has expanded the categories of competition films to include all nations and territories. The festival’s purpose is also to introduce, honour, and promote the image, the country, the people and the cultural identity of Vietnam among its international friends. The slogan of Haniff is “Cinema – Integration and Sustainable Development”
The Festival prepared the following special programmes in the non-competition section:
- Country in focus: “Polish Cinema”
- Collection of selective Iranian films
- Collection of contemporary Vietnamese films
The competition was as follows.
- Feature-length films (exceeding 70 mins, including feature film, documentary film and animation)
- Short films (under 60 mins, including feature film, documentary film and animation).
There were 12 films in the competition category. Among them, 8 films listed below were from Asia and Pacific Asia, and were thus eligible for the NETPAC Award.
The Dark Room dir: Rouhollah Hejazi (Iran)
Pupa dir: Indrasish Acharya (India)
Student A dir: Lee Kyung-sub (Korea)
Signal Rock dir: Chito S. Roño (Philippines)
Anna Karenina: Vronsky’s Story dir: Karen Shakhnazarov (Russia)
Salt is Leaving the Sea dir: Ertanto Robby Soediskam (Indonesia)
The Name dir: Akihiro Toda (Japan)
Summer in Closed Eyes dir: Cao Thúy Nhi (Vietnam)
NETPAC Jury members were Mr. Lee Choong Jik (Head of the Jury, Professor, Producer, Festival Director of Jeonju International Film Festival, Korea), Mrs. Tsengel Davaasambuu (Film Producer and Distributor, Mongolia), and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hong Ngat (Screenwriter, Producer, Vietnam).
The NETPAC’s Award went to Korean director Lee Kyung-sup's Student A. The film – based on a webtoon - tells the story of a middle-school female student who is a victim of domestic violence and is ostracized at school. It takes a serious and hopeful view of social issue, not just in Korea but everywhere in Asia. And even as it predicts the future of Asian youth through pain, it overcomes despair.
The winners of the 5th Hanoi International Film Festival were:
The Dark Room by Rouhollah Hejazi (Iran) won the Best Feature Length Film Award while the Best Director in the same category went to Piotr Domalewski for Silent Night (Poland). The award for Best Actor was given to Christian Bables for his performance in Signal Rock (Philippines); and for Best Actress Award to Phuong Anh Dao for her role in Summer in Closed Eyes (Vietnam). The film Pale Folks (Serbia) won the Jury Prize for Feature Length Film.
In the Short Film category, Vietnam won two of the three awards. Nguyen Le Hoang Viet is one of Vietnam's talented young directors whose films were featured in the short film category and won the Best Director Award for a Short Film, Roomate. The Documentary film Two Children won the Jury Prize for Short Film. And the Best Short Film Award went to Su from Kazakhstan.
The Hanoi International Film Festival screened about 200 films in five days at the National Film Centre. It was a great opportunity to see the unfolding trends both in Vietnamese and world cinema. The elegant opening ceremony, the awards ceremony, and the well-prepared events made it possible to expect further development in the future.
Report by - Lee Choong Jik (Korea) (Chairperson, Netpac Jury)
Edited by - Latika Padgaonkar