Vietnamese cinema reels in the accolades in 2019

By An Nguyen   December 25, 2019 | 06:00 am PT
Busting box office records and scooping international awards, domestic films shoot for the stars this year.

"Cua Lai Vo Bau" (Win Back My Pregnant Wife)

Earning over VND190 billion ($8.2 million) in Vietnam after two months of screening, "Win Back My Pregnant Wife" is currently the highest-grossing movie on the domestic market. 

In the last six years, only six movies have crossed this VND100 billion mark in Vietnam.

"Win Back My Pregnant Wife" trailer.

The film depicts a reserved man who tries winning back the heart of his pregnant wife, unsure of the father’s identity.

"Win Back My Pregnant Wife" won a Silver Lotus award in the motion picture category at the 2019 Vietnam Film Festival.

"Hai Phuong" (Furie)

"Furie", directed by Le Van Kiet, tells the story of a former gang leader in the Mekong Delta whose daughter is kidnapped. The fighting fit mother embarks on a journey to rescue her daughter.

"Furie" trailer.

The movie became the highest-grossing Vietnamese film of all time, earning VND200 billion ($8.64 million) within 4 weeks since opening across Vietnamese and several U.S cinemas in February.

It was chosen to represent Vietnam at the 2020 Oscars, competing in the Best International Feature Film category.

"Lat Mat: Nha Co Khach" (Face Off: Walking Guests)

"Face Off: The Walking Guest", which is the fourth sequel in the Lat Mat (Face Off) series, tells the story of Vy, a young girl who visits her hometown with herfriends. Back home, Vy learns that her brother suffers from a panic disorder and that her mother has sought a sorcerer’s help to cure him. Vy and her friends are then caught up in some bizarre, terrifying phenomena.

"Face Off: Walking Guests" trailer.

The movie, which highlights Vietnam’s stunning scenery, earned VND120 billion ($5.18 million) within 2 months and was screened in many cinemas across the U.S. and Australia.

"Thua Me Con Di" (Goodbye Mother)

Telling the story of Van and his boyfriend Ian just returned to Vietnam from the U.S on a quest to explain their relationship to family members, the LGBT-themed movie is one of the most popular independent Vietnamese releases of 2019. It was screened at Busan, Seoul, Hawaii, and San Diego film festivals.

"Goodbye Mother" trailer.

"Goodbye Mother" is the directorial debut of Trinh Dinh Le Minh, who studied at the University of Texas. Having done a few short films before, this is first full-length feature.

Minh once said his movie does not deal with love. Rather, it delves deeper into the relationship between parents and their children.

Bac Kim Thang (Home Sweet Home)

Lacking famous stars and based on an original screenplay, "Home Sweet Home" earned VND 40 billion ($1.72 million) in Vietnam, praised for its unique story and beautiful Vietnamese scenery.

"Home Sweet Home" trailer.

Set in Mekong Delta, the film tells of a 20-year-old man who returns home after an accident-induced coma to find his family acting weird, his grandfather's health deteriorating and his female cousin vanished, amid spooky events plaguing the old house.

The horror flick had its world premiere at Busan International Film Festival.


"Rom" directed by Mike Figgis won top prize in the New Currents category at Busan International Film Festival, praised for its impressive use of "real, live locations" and "very satisfying" ending.

Developed from the critically acclaimed short film "4:30 p.m.", which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, "Rom" is about a teenage boy named Rom who lives in a slum in Saigon and buys lottery tickets for people in the neighborhood. His aim is to collect enough money to find his parents, who had abandoned him as a child.

A still cut in Rom. Photo by Busan International Film Festival.

A still in "Rom". Photo by Busan International Film Festival.

The film’s Busan success came as a surprise since its producer had requested its withdrawal as the producer had sent the movie to the festival before it was approved by Vietnam’s censors.

"Anh Trai Yeu Quai" (My Annoying Brother)

"My Annoying Brother" is a remake of a South Korean movie about the differences between two brothers reunited after 10 years. This is young director Vu Ngoc Phuong’s third release, and was screened across Vietnam in November.

"My Annoying Brother" trailer.

Premiering at Busan International Film Festival, the film earned VND40 billion ($1.72 million) in Vietnam after 10 days, touching many hearts thanks to its family-themed plot.

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