What’s On

A French filmmaker shows the best part of Vietnam: its people

By Nhung Nguyen   March 17, 2017 | 09:29 am GMT+7

In his gorgeous 'A Thousand Smiles,' Fabien Ecochard distills his journey across the land of 'epic landscapes and welcoming people.'

If you are still not sure about a trip to Vietnam, this video will help you decide.

If you have already been here, then this is your chance to fall in love the country all over again.

During his 20 days in Vietnam, Fabien Ecochard, an aspiring filmmaker from France, captured the best of the country: breathtaking scenes and the smiles of the very friendly locals.

“I chose Vietnam for 3 reasons: the promise of epic landscapes, delicious food, and welcoming people — and we were not disappointed,” Ecochard told VnExpress International via email.

“Perhaps this doesn’t seem too unusual, but it’s not something we’re used to in France anymore,” he said.

In the short film "A Thousand Smiles," a wordplay of his thousand-mile journey from Vietnam's northern mountains to its southern rivers, the photographer-turned-filmmaker and his company were clearly overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality of the Vietnamese.

And there's actually a storyline: Ecochard started the film with images of his Vietnamese neighbor in Paris on purpose.

"When I came back from Vietnam, I had such fond memories of all the kind and generous people I had encountered there," said the French filmmaker. “I wanted to create a kind of imaginary bridge between Ms. Nguyen, who lives in a retirement home in Paris, far from her home country, with her memories of Vietnam."

After shooting the first scenes in Paris after the journey, Ecochard then spent two more weeks editing all the footage of his Vietnam trip last year.

Ecochard is currently finishing another travel visual diary in 2017: a short film about eagle hunters around the globe, from Western Mongolia to the Amazon rainforest.

Watch "A Thousand Smiles" below. Caution: the video may infect you with wanderlust.

Related news:

> Life in Vietnam, in 5 minutes

> #whyVietnam: Social media campaign comes alive with ravishing travel photos