Vietnamese short film wins Cannes award

By An Nguyen   May 25, 2019 | 08:00 am GMT+7

Stay Awake, Be Ready has won the Director’s Fortnight section award at the Cannes Film Festival 2019.

Pham Thien An (left) and a film crew member with the Cannes trophy. Photo taken from Pham Thien Ans Facebook page

Pham Thien An (left) and a film crew member with the Cannes trophy. Photo taken from Pham Thien An's Facebook page

The movie surpassed nine other films from around the world to win the award at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 held May 14-25 this year.

The section, established in 1968, honors feature, short films and documentaries that do not compete in the main categories.

Completed in 2018, Stay Awake, Be Ready (Hay Thuc Tinh va San Sang in Vietnamese) deals with a traffic accident in front of a sidewalk food stall that spontaneously connects the life of three young people.

The film's director Pham Thien An told French magazine Polyester he came up with the idea one night he went out drinking with his friends.

"I saw this boy who worked as a fire breather and after each performance he would go to each restaurant table and sell candies and ask for money. He would eavesdrop on a lot of stories every night," An said.

A scene from the film Stay Awake, Be Ready 

A scene from the film Stay Awake, Be Ready 

Vietnamese director Hong Anh, who was An’s advisor at Cannes was elated: "The seven-minute film was shot in a single take. I highly appreciate An's ability and technique in staging and recording [the movie]. He is a filmmaker with caliber and will go far in his career."

An, born in 1989, had won second prize at the 48 Hours Short Film Competition in Vietnam in 2014.

In 2018, his short film Cam Lang (The Mute) was screened at the Palm Spring International Short Film Festival and was chosen to compete in nearly 15 international film festivals including the Winterthur International Short Film Festival, the Tampere Film Festival and the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Cannes is one of the three biggest film festivals in the world. For the Director’s Fortnight section, the jury leader was Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra, whose film Embrace of the Serpent received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2016.

 
 
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