Short film claims top prize in Vienna, wins Oscar qualification

By Sen    June 5, 2019 | 09:30 pm PT
Mot Khu Dat Tot (Blessed Land) won Best Film award at the Vienna Shorts Festival, automatically qualifying for the Oscars in 2020.
A scene from Mot Khu Dat Tot (Blessed Land) by Pham Ngoc Lan. Photo courtesy of Pham Ngoc Lans website.

A scene from "Blessed Land" by Pham Ngoc Lan. Photo courtesy of Pham Ngoc Lan's website.

Directed by Pham Ngoc Lan, the movie has been recently announced winner of the Best Film award at the 16th VIS Vienna Shorts Festival (VIS) in Austria.

The award comprises a cash prize of 4,000 euros ($4,500). The winner also qualifies to compete for the Academy Awards in the Live Action Short Film category.

"Blessed Land" introduces two main character lines in distinct situations. The camera follows the journey of a mother and son to a cemetery, finding the grave of her late husband after years of being torn apart. In another context, on the same graveyard, a golf course has been built by a wealthy man and his young mistress.

The 20-minute movie allows the audience to feel the tensions and opposition between two different social class - the rich and the poor, two seemingly distant but intrinsically close worlds set on the ‘blessed land’. 

The jury called the film "an original and wildly imaginatively film", which they found to be "playful yet profound."

"It explores complex themes of history, place and memory in ways that are continually surprising, portraying characters who are rooted in a specific world yet somehow escape the usual rules of time and space."

In 2016, VIS had announced that winners of the Short Film, Animation and Music Video categories would automatically qualify for the Oscar long list. The winners are also qualified for the European Film Awards, and the Austrian Film Awards as well as awards prize money in the amount of more than 20,000 euros ($22,500).

Trailer of Blessed Land

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