No Golden Lotus Award at national film fest

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None of the 17 feature films competing at the 17th Vietnam National Film Festival that closed in Phu Yen Province on Saturday, December 17 was deemed worthy of the Golden Lotus Award.

As the festival's jury found no film among the 17 the most outstanding one, three films were selected to receive Silver Lotus prizes: Mui co chay (the smell of the burning grass), Vietnam's first film on homosexuality, Hotboy noi loan, cau chuyen ve thang Cuoi, con vit va co gai diem (Lost in Paradise), and Vu dieu dam me (Passionate dance).

Lost in Paradise, which went international and was screened at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival in Canada, and Busan International Film Festival this year, also won other three prizes, including Best Director for Vu Ngoc Dang.

Two actresses, Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc and My Hanh, surprised the audience by sharing the Best Actress Award for their roles in Canh dong bat tan (Floating Lives) and Vu dieu dam me.

Lan Ngoc had earlier won the Favorite International Actress award at the China Golden Rooster Awards 2011 in October for the role as Nuong in the movie adapted from writer Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tu's best selling short story "Boundless Field."

My Hanh's award was a surprise since her acting was not as appreciated as much as Ngoc's, but the head of jury panel, director Luu Trong Ninh, said at a press conference after the award ceremony that Hanh's acting was highly appreciated and that the jury hadn't planned to give the award to Ngoc.

There were no other surprises in other categories, including Best Actor for Quach Ngoc Ngoan, Best Supporting Actor for Ho Vinh Khoa , and a new award for Best Young Director that was won by Nguyen Quang Dung, who has several box office hits to his credit.

A conference on the local movie industry that highlighted shortcomings and discussed solutions for its development was held yesterday morning as part of the festival.

It announced the establishment of a local cinema fund that raised an initial amount of VND 200 million (US$9,800) from local actors and film distributors. A call was made for more theaters to opened in rural areas.

The Department of Cinematography said it will work on a detailed plan to develop Vietnam's movie industry.

The 18th Vietnam National Film Festival will be held next year in the northern province of Quang Ninh, the hometown of Ha Long Bay, one of New Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

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