The 5th biennial Vietnamese International Film Festival (VIFF), themed Reel Momentum, kicked off on April 7 in the US.
A total of 67 movies and short films by Vietnamese directors and overseas, will be screened through out southern California's University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine); University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); the Bowers Museum, Santa Ana; and Edwards University Cinema 6, Irvine. Admission for high school students and senior citizens will be free.
This year's films include Choi voi (Adrift), Canh dong bat tan (Floating Lives), Bay rong (Clash), 14 ngay phep (14 Days Off), Nhung nu hon ruc ro (Bright Kisses) and Sai Gon Yo!.
The film festival, co-organized by the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association and UCLA's Vietnamese Language and Culture Center from April 7-10 and April 14-17, aims to capture the momentum created by established as well as emerging filmmakers of Vietnamese descent from around the world.
The past decade has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of films produced by Vietnamese filmmakers. This is evident by the strong presence of Vietnamese films at leading international film festivals like Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance, and Tribeca over the past two years.
With every installment beginning in 2003, VIFF has showcased approximately forty to sixty films (shorts and features) by filmmakers of Vietnamese descent from the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, and Vietnam, with each edition reaching an audience of more than 4,000.
VIFF also serves as an important educational tool for learning about the historical and contemporary experiences of Vietnamese throughout the world.