Vietnam wins Best Actress, Documentary at 1st Int'l Film Fest

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Vietnam fetched two awards for best actress and documentary film as the nation's first International Film Festival closed Thursday night in Hanoi.


Nhat Kim Anh, 26, won Best Actress for her performance as "Cam" in Long Thanh cam gia ca (The song about the person who twangs at Thang Long), a fictional romance between Nguyen Du, the author of Truyen Kieu (The Tale of Kieu) and Cam, a singer.


The movie, set in late 18th century, is loosely adapted from a collection of poems of the same name that Nguyen Du, arguably Vietnam's most famous poet, composed during 1813-1814 when he was an ambassador to China, then under the Qing Dynasty.


Most of the judges said they were impressed by the film.


Premiered on September 14, the work directed by Dao Ba Son has received mixed reviews from both critics and audiences.


"I never thought I would get an award at a big international film festival. I just thought I was doing something for the audience," Anh said after receiving the award. "I had no idea it would pay off with this meaningful award."


During an interview with The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports and Culture) after the festival, Anh said "I'm not completely satisfied watching the film now but I have tried by best."


The former home helper is also working on her singing career.


The Best Documentary award was given to Nguyen Thi Minh Hai, who made Luon o ben con (Always by your side).


Singapore's "Sand Castle" won the awards for Best Feature film and Best Director. Philip Noyce, head of the feature film judge panel, said the final decision was unanimous. He described all aspects of the film as excellent.


Ah Nin from Malaysia got the Best Actor award for his role in "Ice Kacang Puppy Love."


The first Vietnam International Film Festival opened on October 17 with a red carpet event at the National Conference Center in Hanoi.

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