Hanoi International Film Festival Wraps With Colorful Awards Show

Hanoi Film Festival - H 2012

Hanoi Film Festival - H 2012

Lawrence Fajardo's "Shackled" nabs best feature film while Reis Celik ("Night of Silence") and Iskandar Usmonov ("Telegram") win a split decision for best feature director.

The Vietnamese film industry and international guests converged on Hanoi's Friendship Palace Thursday night for a colorful coda to the second edition of the five-day Hanoi International Film Festival (HANIFF). Arriving via red carpet, attendees were treated to lavish displays of ballet and modern dance, with over 40 performers in traditional costume taking to the stage for a mixed Vietnamese and English-language rendition of the epic, Vietnam, We Love You. The event was covered live on VTV1 and VTV4.

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Interspersed between the pageantry was the evening’s order of business: the dishing out of nine jury prizes.

Filipino director Lawrence Fajardo’s Shackled, a gritty drama about police corruption, took home the best feature film award.

Best Short Film went to director B.W. Purba Negara for his Bermula dari A. Negara warmed the crowd with an effusive acceptance speech delivered almost simultaneously in both Indonesian and English.

Vietnamese-American director Victor Vu’s martial arts epic Blood Letter—a favorite among local audiences—picked up the competition’s special jury award for feature film, while Yellow Bull by Vietnamese director Khanh Duyen nabbed the special jury award for shorts.

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Japan’s Mina Yonezawa won best director for shorts for her film Solo. The jury said their allegiances were split for the best director prize for features, so they awarded one each to Turkish director Reis Celik (Night of Silence) and Tajikistani director, Iskandar Usmonov (Telegram). Best acting awards went to Turkish actor Ilyas Salman in Night of Silence, and Chinese actress Yin Yaning for her performance in Song of Silence.

Altogether, over 100 features, shorts and documentaries from 31 countries and territories in Asia-Pacific were exhibited in the second edition of HANIFF’s expanding programming lineup.

Comments by the judges were kept brief, but jury chair Jan Schuette, managing director of the German Film and Television Academy Berlin, said that although his busy viewing schedule meant he didn’t see much of Hanoi on this trip, he had been "taken on a journey across Asia” while making his selections.