Ly Nha Ky, the sole Vietnamese sponsor of the Cannes Film Festival 2017, has sparked dispute on social media after posting photos of a billboard featuring an image of herself at the event.
A giant photo of Ky, a private sponsor of the Cinéfondation organization, is featured between two panels promoting Vietnam, with the tagline “Ly Nha Ky – The New Voice of Viet Nam.”
The billboards have been hung on a building facing the palace where the festival will take place this year.
The picture of Ky with the controversial tagline next to a panel promoting Vietnam. File photo.
Many social media users say that Ky, a former tourism ambassador for Vietnam, is taking advantage of her position as a sponsor at Cannes to promote herself rather than the image of Vietnam.
They said Ky does not have the right to call herself “The New Voice of Viet Nam” at such a big global event.
At a meeting with local media last week, Ky said she had spent one million euros ($1.09 million) to promote Vietnamese tourism at Cannes, including the funds for the three panels.
Explaining the tagline, her representative said The Hollywood Reporter had previously dubbed Ky as a new voice from Vietnam and the panel with the photo of Ky had nothing to do with the ones advertising Vietnam that she had paid for herself.
Ky poses for photos as she arrives at the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Le Thien Vien
Despite this criticism, Ky does have some supporters who say she has used her own money to attend Cannes and sponsor the festival, so it is her right to put up a panel of her own.
In Vietnam, Ky is famous as an actress, businesswoman and philanthropist.
This year marks the first time Vietnam is officially attending the festival, according to a government post.
Following the massive success of “Kong: Skull Island” and relentless attempts to remind the world that most of the Hollywood production was filmed in Vietnam, Vietnam has officially declared itself “The New Destination of Blockbusters” at the 70th annual event.