Sunday, 28/05/2023 15:29

Directors from Việt Nam win major prizes at Cannes Film Festival

HÀ NỘI — The only Vietnamese film competing at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, Bên Trong Vỏ Kén Vàng (Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell) by director Phạm Thiên Ân, has received the Caméra d’Or Award.

The 178-minute movie beat 17 other competitors in the Directors’ Fortnight – an independent section held in parallel with the Cannes Film Festival.

The movie takes the audience on a journey of initiation through deep, rural Việt Nam, with poetic overtones of an existential quest.

The film follows a man named Thiện, who is tasked with delivering his sister-in-law’s body to their countryside hometown following a tragic motorcycle accident in Sài Gòn. Accompanied by his nephew Đạo, aged five and miraculously rescued from the accident, he finds his brother, who has been missing for several years.

Receiving the award on the stage of the Grand Lumière Theatre, the 44-year-old director sent his thank you to his wife.

"I am deeply honoured to receive this award,"  he said. "Thanks to my wife, who is always by my side and supported me since the beginning of my film journey.”

Phạm Thiên Ân wins the Caméra d’Or Award for his film 'Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell' at the Grand Lumière Theatre in Cannes on Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Festival de Cannes 

Earlier, at its global premiere on May 24, when the screening ended, the cast and crew of Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell received a five-minute standing ovation.

IndieWire described it as a 'hypnotising Vietnamese drama goes on a quest for transcendence,’ and Variety Magazine mentioned it as part of ‘the Southeast Asian New Wave in the global film industry.’

The film will be released in cinemas on September 20, 2023.

Director Ân was already familiar with the Cannes Festival as he won the short film prize in 2019 for his one-shot movie Stay Awake, Be Ready

Another award for Vietnamese-born director 

Another major award at the Cannes 2023 Film Festival came to the Vietnamese-born French director Trần Anh Hùng. He won the Award for Best Director (Prix de la Mise en Scène) for his movie La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Pot au Feu).

Vietnamese-French director Trần Anh Hùng poses with his Award for Best Director (Prix de la Mise en Scène) for his movie La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Pot au Feu). — Photo courtesy of Festival de Cannes 

Set in French gastronomy in 1885, the film follows Eugénie (played by Juliette Binoche), an exceptional cook who has worked for 20 years alongside the famous gastronome Dodin (played by Benoit Magimel).

Over time, a love affair develops between them, closely linked to their shared love of gastronomy. They create delicious, flavourful dishes that amaze the world's greatest gourmets. However, Eugénie, eager for freedom, never wanted to marry Dodin. Dodin decided to give her a unique gift: to cook for her.

In an interview with Variery, Hùng discussed the filmmaking challenges of shooting elaborate cooking scenes, the joy of seeing Binoche and Magimel reunited, and the role of gastronomy in 18th-century France.

“It was more about the filmmaking challenge that gastronomy presented. My first challenge was to make a film that didn’t look like any others. The idea was to weave gastronomy into a love story and see how a man and a woman who share the same passion for the culinary art and have lived together for over 25 years form this spiritual bond,” he said.

Hùng is best known for his Cannes’ Golden Camera-winning The Scent of Green Papaya in 1993 and Venice Golden Lion-winning Cyclo in 1995 – both are about and have set in Việt Nam, where he was born and lived until he immigrated to France in 1975. — VNS

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