Busan International Film Festival screens ‘withdrawn’ Vietnamese movie

By Long Nguyen   October 6, 2019 | 01:00 am PT
Busan International Film Festival screens ‘withdrawn’ Vietnamese movie
A still from the movie "Rom". Photo by BIFF 2019.
"Rom" was screened at the Busan International Film Festival despite producers trying to withdraw their submission.

The movie, directed by Tran Thanh Huy, was screened on October 4 in the New Currents category, considered one of the most important ones at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in South Korea.

"We did not want to cancel the screening because a lot of fans had bought the tickets and cared for the movie. A film festival has to keep its connections with and promises to the audience," said Park Sungho, a BIFF 2019 representative.

Last month, the Vietnam Cinema Department had said that the Hoan Khue company, which produced "Rom", had sent the movie to the festival before it was approved by Vietnam’s censors. It also asked the company to explain why the film had been produced by foreigners without getting the script approved as required by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The company then wrote to the Busan festival organizers and asked that the film be withdrawn.

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.

Vietnam has four features, two short films and three projects entered for BIFF 2019, held October 3-12. The festival will screen a total of 303 films from 85 countries, with 97 feature films and 23 short films making their world premiere.

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