Romantic film wins best picture award at Vietnam film fest

By Linh Do   November 21, 2021 | 01:59 am PT
Romantic film wins best picture award at Vietnam film fest
A scene from 'Dreamy Eyes'
Victor Vu’s 2019 commercial hit ‘Mat Biec’ (Dreamy Eyes) has been awarded the Golden Lotus, often dubbed the Vietnamese Oscars, for best picture at the 22nd Vietnam Film Festival.

Adapted from a novel of the same name by writer Nguyen Nhat Anh, 'Dreamy Eyes', jointly produced by Galaxy and November Films, tells the story of unrequited love between a country boy and his childhood sweetheart, who changes when she goes to attend school in the city.

Released at the end of 2019, the film, which was also the Vietnamese entry for best foreign picture at the 93rd Oscars, recorded box office revenues of VND180 billion ($8 million), joining the list of just 13 local blockbusters that have so far crossed the VND100 billion ($4.4 million) benchmark.

At the Vietnam Film Festival award ceremony held Saturday, ‘Dreamy Eyes’ also bagged best soundtrack for Christopher Wong, best cinematography for Dominic Pereira, and a special mention from Thua Thien Hue Province People’s Committee for best portrayal of Hue City, which hosted this year’s event.

This is the second time that Vietnamese American director Victor Vu and joint producer Galaxy Media & Entertainment have won the Golden Lotus for best picture.

In 2015, this team had won the best picture award for another box office hit, ‘Toi Thay Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh’ (Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass), which was adapted from another Nguyen Nhat Anh novel.

At the festival, the biggest box office hit of all time in Vietnam, ‘Bo Gia’ (Dad, I’m Sorry), also won four major awards: Silver Lotus, or the second prize for feature films; best screenplay for Tran Thanh, Kalei An Nhi and A Quay; best supporting actress for 10-year-old Ngan Chi; and best actor for Tuan Tran.

People’s Artist Le Khanh won the best actress award for her performance in ‘Gai Gia Lam Chieu 5 - Nhung Cuoc Doi Vuong Gia’ (Camellia Sisters 5 - Living Like Royalty), a 2021 comedy drama also set in Hue.

Produced by MAR6 Pictures for a whopping $2 million, Camellia Sisters 5, which is about the love and greed of a wealthy antique collecting family. With its royalist sets and shots of Hue’s ancient palaces, the film also won best art design and shared the Jury Award for creative storytelling with two other titles.

The best director award went to Trinh Dinh Le Minh for CJ and HK studios’ 2020 crime and horror flick ‘Bang Chung Vo Hinh’ (Invisible Evidence). ‘Invisible Evidence’ also won best supporting actor for Otis.

Tran Thanh Huy’s ‘Rom’, which won the New Currents award at the 2019 Busan International Film Festival, also did well at the Vietnam Film Festival, sharing best cinematography with ‘Dream Eyes’ for cinematographer Nguyen Vinh Phuc, and the Jury Award with ‘Camellia Sisters 5’ and People’s Artist Nguyen Thanh Van’s ‘Binh Minh Do’ (Red Dawn).

In the remaining categories, the Golden Lotus for best animation went to director Tran Khanh Duyen’s 10-minute ‘Con Chim Go’ (Wooden Bird); best documentary for Vietnam Television’s ‘Ranh Gioi’ (Border Line) about HCMC-based Hung Vuong Hospital’s medical staff’s struggle to save pregnant women infected with Covid-19; and best scientific film for another VTV production, ‘Diem Mu Giao Thong’ (Traffic Blindspots).

The next Vietnam Film Festival, to be held two years from now, will be hosted by the Central Highlands town of Da Lat.

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