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Busan film festival winner to finally hit Vietnamese screens

By Tam Ky   June 22, 2020 | 05:26 pm PT
Set for a July 31 release, Vietnamese film 'Rom', grand prize winner at Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) 2019, has finally debuted its trailer.

In the new trailer, protagonist Rom (played by Vietnamese actor Tran Anh Khoa), is chased and caught by a group of gamblers amid bustling streets. Selling "lo de", an illegal form of lottery in Vietnam, Rom once helped a client earn VND70 million ($3,030), gaining the confidence of many local residents, who later try to beat him up for their apparent bad luck.

His "enemy", Phuc (played by Vietnamese actor Anh Tu Wilson), is also introduced alongside a lot of underprivileged residents in Ho Chi Minh City, who live in poor neighborhoods and spend a lot of time and money on "lo de".

Rom poster. Photo courtesy of Rom.

"Rom" poster. Photo courtesy of "Rom."

In 2019, "Rom" was fined VND40 million ($1,730) after entering Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in South Korea without acquiring a domestic screening license. 

The movie's producers had previously written to the Busan festival organizers asking that it be withdrawn after Vietnamese cinema authorities said it had not been certified by the local censor board.

However, the festival organizing board decided to screen the movie anyway, and award it the New Currents prize. 

The movie gained a license to hit domestic cinemas in late March, after the national film evaluation council told producers to edit and cut some scenes reflecting social evils in the country.

Developed from the critically acclaimed short film "4:30 p.m.", screened at Cannes Film Festival in 2013, "Rom" was filmed and produced over seven years.

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