Films tell stories of landscape
Vietnamese film competes at Berlin int’l film festival

A scene from Một Khu Đất Tốt (Blessed Land) by Pham Ngoc Lan, winner of Best Film at the International Competition for Fiction and Documentaries at the 16th VIS Vienna Shorts Festival in Austria on June 2. Photo courtesy of the producer


Lan received a cash prize of 4,000 euros (US$4,503). His film now qualifies for the European Film Awards and the Academy Awards in the US.

The 19-minute black-and-white film includes two stories occurring at the same location 10 years apart.

The story is about a mother and son looking for the father’s tomb at a cemetery.

Ten years later, the land is turned into a golf club where a talk between a rich man and his secret mistress occurs.

The film features People’s Artist Minh Chau, Hoang Ha, Huy Tien and Thuy Anh.

Một Khu Đất Tốt was nominated in the Berlinale Shorts category at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, German in February.

It won Special Mention Award from the jury at the International Shorts Competition at the 20th Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival in Canary Islands in March.

The film won top prize at the 2018 CJ Short Film Project, one of the top short film contests in Vietnam. The VND200 million (US$8,590) prize gave Lan a chance to turn his screenplay into a film.

Lan of Hanoi graduated from the Ha Noi University of Architecture, but later followed his passion to make independent films.

His first film, The Story of Ones in 2011, was screened at numerous film festivals and art museums, such as the New Cinema and Contemporary Art - Rencontres Internationales in France, and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Japan.

In 2016, his film Another City was nominated in the shorts category at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in 2016.

His work, Cu Li Never Cries, received the Hubert Bals Fund for Script Development at the 2017 International Film Festival Rotterdam, and was chosen for the L’Atelier Cinefondation at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

He is working on the feature version of Cu Li Never Cries.

The VIS Vienna Shorts is an international short film festival organised by the association Independent Cinema in Vienna. It is a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards, the European Film Awards and the Austrian Film Awards

This year’s festival presented 305 films of under 30 minutes from 55 countries. Of these, 67 were screened in the two international competitions, Fiction & Documentary and Animation Avant-garde, and 23 in the Austrian Competition.

It took place from May 28 to June 2.