Four state-funded feature films, including international award-winning Choi voi (Adrift) and Dung dot (Don't burn), and four private productions will compete in the 2010 Golden Kite Awards on March 14.
While Choi voi with its erotic explorations and wartime film Dung dot are familiar to Vietnamese audiences as they premiered last year, the two other state-funded movies, Khong can suc (Unrelinquished struggle), and Duoc song (To be lived) are relative unknowns.
Anti-corruption film Khong can suc was released on March 3, while Duoc song, which tells of a flight attendant's extraordinary will power after an accident, has yet to be screened.
The four films from private studios, all released, are the action-packed Bay rong (Clash), musical Nhung nu hon ruc ro (Resplendent kisses), romantic flick 14 ngay phep (14 days), and comedy Cong chua teen va ngu ho tuong (Teenage girl and five bodyguards).
The films vying for awards also include 47 documentaries, 12 TV serials, 10 animated films, and three film essays.
This year, the Golden Kite Awards, Vietnam's premier film awards, will introduce a few new awards, including the best leading and supporting actor and actress in a TV serials, as well as the most promising actor award for feature films.
Nguyen Van Tan, office head of the Vietnam Cinema Association, said it was appropriate that actors in TV serials are awarded, because they are now attracting the largest audiences.
But there would not be the best movie voted by journalists this year, he said.
"The 16th Vietnam Film Festival has just taken place a few months ago with Dung dot winning the Best Movie voted by journalists. So, it would be somewhat redundant if we have it for the 2010 Golden Kite Awards as well," he told local media.
The Golden Kite Awards in 2008 and 2009 found no entry worthy of the top prize for feature films, but this year, experts say Dung dot or Choi voi may win the prize.
Based on the war diary of martyred resistance army medic Dang Thuy Tram, Dung dot, directed by Dang Nhat Minh, won the Golden Lotus award for the best feature film at the 16th Vietnam Film Festival held last December.
It also won the Audience Award at the Fukuoka International Film Festival in Japan last year.
Meanwhile, Choi voi, directed by Bui Thac Chuyen, won a critics' award at the 66th Venice Film Festival in Italy last year. The film tells of a romantic triangle between a man and two women who harbor a secret homosexual love.
The awards ceremony will take place at the Friendship Culture Palace in Hanoi. It will be broadcast live on VTV3 and VTV4, one day ahead of the Vietnamese Cinema Day.
The event, to be held for the first time on March 15, will feature a seminar titled "Vietnamese Cinema Integrates into the World" and a screenplay contest for adapting poet Nguyen Du's Truyen Kieu (The Tale of Kieu). The winner will receive a prize of VND200 million (US$10,700).