Vietnamese film submitted for award at Golden Globes 2023

By Mai Nhat   December 7, 2022 | 03:15 am PT
“Dem Toi Ruc Ro" (The Brilliant Darkness) has been submitted for Best Foreign Language Film at the 30th Golden Globe Awards.

Aaron Toronto, director of "The Brilliant Darkness," confirmed that 3388 Films, a distributor of Vietnamese films in the United States, has submitted the film to the Golden Globes under the category of Best Foreign Language Film.

Toronto and his wife, actress and screenwriter Nha Uyen, are in America to promote the film before the Golden Globe nominations are announced on December 12.

On the film festival's website, "The Brilliant Darkness" is on a long list of more than 100 candidates submitted for consideration for the award alongside many well-known movies released this year, such as "Decision To Leave" and "Broker."

A promotional poster for The Brilliant Darkness. Photo courtesy of 3388 Films

A promotional poster for "The Brilliant Darkness". Photo courtesy of 3388 Films

In September, the film beat other nominations to win Vietnam’s Golden Kite Award, which is the most important prize in one of the two biggest and most prestigious film awards in Vietnam. The film also won prizes in the categories of Cinematography and Supporting Actor.

Uyen won the Best Actress Award for the role of Xuan Thanh, a woman living with depression, as well as the Best Screenwriter Award.

"The Brilliant Darkness" depicts the funeral of the grandfather of Kim Hoang, played by Vu Xuan Trang, Xuan Thanh (Nha Uyen) and Kim Bao (Kim B).

His three granddaughters return home for the funeral after many years of separation. Each person has a different situation - one is depressed, another is divorced from a rich husband and the third is addicted to drugs.

In the middle of the funeral, Toan, the father of the three women, confesses that he owes a lot of money to a gang and must pay it back before 6 a.m. the next morning. If he fails to pay the money back, he says, he will be killed by gangsters. That evening becomes "a time bomb" for Toan's family. The daughters refuse to pay his debt because each has her own problem.

Toronto, who has lived in Vietnam for 16 years, studied funeral customs in southern Vietnam for many years before making the film.

Uyen was eight months pregnant when she acted in the movie.

He said he was moved by being helped by so many people on his way to making independent movies.

"I don't know if the movie will win the award," he said, "but I'm glad to see that other people share my dream."

Even though this is an independent film, the work is one of the biggest box office hits in Vietnam this year, with box office revenues of more than VND20 billion ($847,456).

In March, the film won two awards at the Santa Fe Film Festival for Best Story and Best Performance by a Female, which was awarded to Nha Uyen.

The 80th Golden Globe is scheduled to take place in Beverly Hills, California, on January 10.

The Golden Globe Awards, which kicked off in 1944, is ranked the third most-watched film awards show each year, behind the Oscars and the Grammy Awards.

"Bo Gia" (Dad, I'm Sorry) by MC Tran Thanh and "Kieu" by Mai Thu Huyen were submitted for the same category in 2021. Neither submission made it to the short list.

"The Brilliant Darkness" trailer. Video: CJ

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