From right to left, producers Trần Thị Bích Ngọc, Dương Diệu Linh and Lê Quỳnh Anh are pictured with Locarno Film Festival awards. — Photo courtesy of SEAFIC

HÀ NỘI Vietnamese film makers have won a number of prizes at a European film festival.

Culi Never Cries, the debut drama by Phạm Ngọc Lân, won two prizes in the Open Doors section of Locarno Film Festival held in Locarno, Switzerland.

The movie picked up the ARTE International Open Doors and Sorfond Awards, according to the Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab.

Meanwhile, film project Tro Tàn Rực Rỡ (Glorious Ashes) by director Bùi Thạc Chuyên and producer Trần Thị Bích Ngọc won the CNC Prize.

Young directors Dương Diệu Linh and Lê Quỳnh Anh won the Moulin d’André-CEC and Rotterdam Lam awards respectively.

According to Variety, Culi Never Cries has impressed the international media when it was introduced in Open Doors programme within the Swiss film festival.

The film tells the story of Lady M., a blue-collar retiree in Việt Nam, returning to Berlin after learning that her estranged German husband has died. He has left behind an urn with his ashes and a dog named Cu Li.

After coming back to Việt Nam, she finds that her pregnant niece is rushing into marriage. Fearing that she will commit the same life mistakes as she did when she was young, Lady M. embarks on a journey retracing her memories, evoking Việt Nam’s past.

Culi Never Cries was previously screened at Cannes’ Cinefondation L’Atelier, Busan’s Asian Project Market, SEAFIC x PAS, Produire au Sud’s Southeast Asia workshop, and Talents Tokyo.

To Glorious Ashes by filmmaker Chuyên, CNC Prize has enriched its international awards.

Adapted from short stories by renowned Vietnamese writer Nguyễn Ngọc Tư, the film won Busan Award in Asian Project Market of Busan International Film Festival 2017. It was also presented at Cannes’ Cinefondation L’Atelier 2018.

Also in Locarno Film Festival this year, Nhà Cây ( The Tree House) by director Trương Minh Quý was screened in the category for new film talents and Đập Cánh Giữa Không Trung (Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere) by director Nguyễn Hoàng Điệp will be screened on August 15 in Open Doors Screening.

The Locarno Film Festival has beens held annually Locarno, Switzerland since 1946. It is considered as one of the longest-running film festivals renowned for being a prestigious platform for art house movies.

Running in the festival’s Locarno Pro section, Open Doors is designed to “assist independent film making and showcase directors and films from countries in the global South and East”, says the festival. — VNS