Vietnamese film The Third Wife wins Toronto film fest prize

By An Nguyen    September 19, 2018 | 10:30 am GMT+7

The Third Wife, directed by Nguyen Phuong Anh, has won an award at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival.

Entering the film festival (TiFF) in the Discovery strand, The Third Wife by director Nguyen Phuong Anh (Ash Mayfair) received the NETPAC award for International Asian Film Premiere.

The NETPAC award is instituted by the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, an organization of 29 participating countries.

Every year, it presents awards at certain film festivals. World renowned directors who have received this award include Lee Chang Dong and Kim Ki Duk from South Korea, and Jia Zhangke from China.

The film features the life of May (Nguyen Phuong Tra My), a 14-year-old girl entering into an arranged marriage with an affluent middle-aged man. As the third wife in the family, May begins to learn family principles from the first wife Ha (Tran Nu Yen Khe) and second wife Xuan (Maya). As My gets pregnant, she hopes to give birth to a boy to enforce her status in the family, but an incident turns things upside down.

The trailer of the film.

Set in the 19th century, the film revolves around a family story in old Vietnamese society, and is inspired by her family history, Mayfair told Women and Hollywood.

“It is a dark coming-of-age story, a tale of love and self-discovery in a time when women were rarely given a voice," she told Variety.

The film received acclaim from international critics. Screendaily praised Mayfair’s illustration of a woman’s void of contentment in the old society, saying that it had “powerful universal resonance”.

Mayfair has earlier done short film projects like Grasshopper, No Exit and Men

The films main cast and crew at the TiFF. 

The film's main cast and crew at the TiFF. Photo acquired by VnExpress. 

After TiFF, The Third Wife will head to the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain in late September, and later, the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival was held from September 6-16 this year. The most important prize of the festival - People's Choice Award – went to Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book”. The second prize was won by “If Beale Street Could Talk” by director Barry Jenkins. 

Vietnamese film The Third Wife wins Toronto film fest prize - 1

The poster of the film.

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