Two Vietnamese directors — Pham Ngoc Lan with the film project “Culi Never Cries” and Le Bao with “Taste” — are amongst the 16 directors that have made their way to the L’Atelier supporting programme for young filmmakers, organised by the film foundation Cinéfondation of the Cannes Film Festival.
The sixteen directors whose projects have been considered particularly promising will be invited to the Cannes Film Festival where they will be able to meet potential partners and investors. L’Atelier provides its participants access to international co-productions, thus accelerating the film’s completion.
Taste tells the strange story of two African men who struggle making a living in Saigon in the hope of bringing their families to live there one day. With this film project, young director Le Bao won in the Most Promising Project category at the Singapore International Film Festival’s Silver Screen Awards.
Culi Never Cries tells the story of a Vietnamese wife going to Europe to bring her husband’s body as a security guard of a zoo back to Vietnam. The zoo falls into bankruptcy, with only one Culi left.
According to the Tuoi Tre newspaper, in November 2016 in Da Nang, two founders of the program Gặp gỡ mùa Thu (Autumn Meeting) – director Phan Dang Di and producer Tran Bich Ngoc – invited Georges Goldenstern, Chairman of the Cinefondation for Young Talents at Cannes Festival. Georges Goldenstern met Pham Ngoc Lan and Le Bao, the two promising filmmakers who had received support from Gặp gỡ mùa Thu for four years.
Their short and long film projects, through the recommendation of Autumn Meeting, completely conquered this hugely popular president, prompting him to make an exception to invite two directors from one country to join the Cannes Film Festival – a rare occurrence in the last 13 years of L’Atelier.
The Cinefondation’s Atelier has been created in 2005 to stimulate creative filmmaking and encourage the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers. So far, out of 186 projects accompanied, 145 have been completed and 14 are currently in pre-production.
In the past, Vietnam has only one filmmaker nominated in this category, which is “Bi, đừng sợ!” (Bi, Don’t Be Afraid!) directed by Phan Dang Di.
See the list of 15 film projects selected for Cannes 2017 here.
Translated by Hanoi Grapevine