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Festival Reports

6th Hanoi International Film Festival; Cinema for Humanity, Adaptability and Development.

Mrudula Thursday November 24, 2022
 NETPAC Jury members Max Tessier (France/Philippines), Ms. Ranjanee Ratnavibhushana (Sri Lanka), and Ong Luong Dinh Dung (Vietnam) at 6th HANIFF Edition
NETPAC Jury members Max Tessier (France/Philippines), Ms. Ranjanee Ratnavibhushana (Sri Lanka), and Ong Luong Dinh Dung (Vietnam) at 6th HANIFF Edition

 

After a two years interruption due to the Covid pandemic, the Hanoi International film festival (HANIFF) is back in full gear. 

The 6th HANIFF edition was in great shape, and quite busy in terms of schedule. Apart from the film screenings at the National Cinema Center (a big building with 13 theaters, but lacking an elevator…), the juries were invited daily to the best Vietnamese restaurants in town , and to a sumptuous Gala dinner at the famous Temple of Literature in the presence of top Vietnamese officials sponsors and ambassadors (USA, France…). A homage was given to veteran Vietnamese director Dang Nhat Minh, whose latest opus, Jasmine, opened the festival competition. 

    The main competition (feature films) was composed of 11 films from various countries, but of course our Netpac jury ( composed of Mrs Ranjanee Ratnavibushana, Chair, Vietnamese director Luong Dinh Dung, and myself, Max  Tessier) had to see only seven Asian films from quite different origins, topics and styles.  Dang Nhat Minh’s Jasmine  (Hoa Nhai) is a story of simple people who try to remain truly human in the modern society, India’s In the mist, by Bengali director Indrash Acharya is a puzzling literary adaptation of a book about a strange family portrayed in the middle of nowhere. Zere , by Kazakh director Dauren Kamshibayev is also a literary drama about a family divided by the father’s death, with good performances. Sri Lanka’s Maariya (The angel of the ocean), by Aruna Jayawardana, is a symbolic but not quite convincing fable about a fisherman’s boat disrupted by an illegal immigrant to Australia, and the incongruous presence of a sex doll…Myanmar’s Dark fall , by female director Cho Wut Yee (now exiled in Thailand…) is a rather seductive exercice de style about a writer’s fantasy between reality and his twisted imagination. 

Stills from the movie- Bon Marrow
Stills from the movie- Bon Marrow

       For our Jury, the two best films were definitely Iran’s Bone Marrow, by Hamid Reza Ghorban  (a former assistant to famous director Asghar Farhadi, whose influence is obvious here ) , a very strong and disturbing drama about a mother whose son has a terminal illness, and who looks for extreme solutions to save him. And the Filipino film Kontrabida / The villain, by director Adolfo Borinaga Alix, about an aging actress ( played by Filipino cinema legend Nora Aunor) who tries to survive her fading glory until her sick husband  has to be taken to the hospital’s ER , just as the Covid pandemic starts…Great performance in an unusual film.

Stills from the movie- Kontrabida / The villain
Stills from the movie- Kontrabida / The villain

 

 There was also a competition for short films and documentaries that we couldn’t see (lack of time, no schedule). So, our experience of the superbly revived Hanoi festival was quite rewarding, in the ever fascinating city of the lakes, bustling with life, and thousands of motorbikes rushing throughout the nostalgic French colonial buildings  

Max Tessier (France/Philippines)

NETPAC Jury

Interview

Supriya Suri's Interview with Muhiddin Muzaffar

Director Muhiddin Muzaffar (1) 2 Min

1. I entered the cinema through the theatre. I was an actor in our local theatre called Kanibadam, named after Tuhfa Fozilova. After working for five years, I decided to do a theatre director course. I graduated with honors and became a director. We successfully staged performances at international festivals.

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