Vietnamese film advances to Oscars shortlist for first time

By Mai Nhat   December 22, 2022 | 12:44 am PT
Vietnamese film advances to Oscars shortlist for first time
A still from "Children of the Mist"
"Nhung Dua Tre Trong Suong" (Children of the Mist) by Ha Le Diem is among 15 entries shortlisted for the Documentary Feature category at the 95th Academy Awards.

This marks the first time a Vietnamese film has made the shortlist.

"578: Phat Dan Cua Ke Dien" (578: Magnum), the other Vietnamese film that was submitted for the Academy Awards this year, did not make it to the Top 15 in the International Feature Film category.

The official nominations will be officially announced on January 24, 2023.

Directed by Diem, "Children of the Mist" is narrated by a 12-year-old ethnic Hmong girl living in the northern town of Sa Pa.

The 90-minute-long documentary talks about the clash between ancient customs and modern values in a place where children from a traditional culture also have access to the outside world.

The documentary was screened at film festivals in many countries, including the United States, France, Australia, Mexico, Kosovo, Singapore and Cambodia.

There are high hopes for "Children of the Mist" at the Oscars as it has already won Best International Film at the 2022 Docaviv Film Festival in Israel and the Best Directing award for Ha Le Diem at the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) in the Netherlands.

Ha Le Diem, 30, is a Tay ethnic woman from the mountainous province of Bac Kan. She chose to study journalism in the hope of going to many places and discovering many interesting things to tell others.

But after working for a number of newspapers and television channels, she realized she was not cut out for the task with her quiet and introverted personality.

After taking filmmaking courses at the Center for Assistance and Development of Movie Talents and Varan Vietnam, a group of independent documentary filmmakers, in 2012 and 2016 she decided to become an independent documentary filmmaker.

The 95th Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on March 12, 2023.

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