Hanoi film fest returns this year with larger selection, bigger stars

By Vu Van Viet   September 17, 2016 | 11:33 am GMT+7
Hanoi film fest returns this year with larger selection, bigger stars
French actress Catherine Deneuve will be in Vietnam this November for the 4th Hanoi International Film Festival. Photo by AFP

“Indochine” star Catherine Deneuve and director Régis Wargnier will attend as special guests in November.

The Hanoi International Film Festival aims to be bigger and better this year by featuring, for the first time, movies from outside the Asia-Pacific region in the main competition.

Around 300 features and 200 short films have been submitted to the festival's fourth edition, which will run between November 1 and 5.

Entries come from over 40 countries and territories including Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the U.K. and U.S. Earlier editions of the festival only highlighted movies from Asia Pacific.

Organizers said around 100 submissions will be selected for awards.

French actress Catherine Deneuve, who won high acclaims for her performance in the Oscar-winning "Indochine" (1992), will be a special guest at the event, together with the film's director Régis Wargnier, the organizers have confirmed.

As a young and lesser-known event, the Hanoi festival may have difficulties attracting big-name filmmakers and actors. But organizers are also hoping to secure "Son of Saul", the Oscar foreign-language film winner last year, for at least a special screening.

The festival will give out awards for best picture, best short film, best directors in both categories, best actor and actress, audience’s choice award for the most beloved picture, and an award from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC).

Screenings will be open for free at the National Screening Center, Kim Dong, Thang Tam, Ngoc Khanh and CGV cinemas, besides outdoor shows in front of Hanoi Opera House on the nights of November 2, 3 and 4.

Filmmakers at the festival can join conferences and events to seek partners and investors, or opportunities to be promoted at larger festivals in Berlin, Cannes and Hong Kong.

In 2014, the festival named Russia’s critically-acclaimed “Two Women” as the best picture while Iranian Allen Dizon won best director.

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