Netflix unveiled the winners of its "My Vietnam" short film competition powered by Netflix's Cinema Beauty - Vietnam Creative Economy Grant on May 25.
Over 100,000 viewers tuned in to the highly-anticipated award ceremony, live-streamed on Yeah1's Facebook channel, on May 23.
First prize was granted to Pao's Forest (Khu rung của Pao) by Nguyen Pham Thanh Dat. The film tells the story of Pao, a Mong man who married at 14. At the age of 18, he falls in love for the first time, forcing him to choose between love and family responsibilities. The project was filmed over one month in Moc Chau township of Son La province, and all of the film's actors are from the Mong ethnic group.
Second prize went to Little Parrot (Vet con) by Nguyen Tran Ai Nhi. In Little Parrot, Erik, a German man, meets with Thu, the mother of his deceased lover, Minh. Thu wants to bring Minh's ashes back to Vietnam, but Erik is not ready for that just yet.
Conceptualised in early December last year, pre-production for the film took place from mid-February to the end of March this year. The film was shot over four days in Berlin, Germany. An international cinema, its production team comprises Vietnamese and German crew members, with three languages used on the set: English, Vietnamese and German.
Third prize was given to Between the Lines (Dung giua lan ranh) by Phan Ngoc Thanh Ngan.
A man is joined by mysterious hitchhikers and strangers while on a taxi ride to meet his family. Over four days, the film was shot in Củ Chi District, HCM City.
"I decided to enter the "My Vietnam" short film competition because it came at the right time. It was the time when my friend, Pha, came to me and shared his personal and family life, as well as the customs of the Mong community and the challenges that Pha faces," said Nguyen Pham Thanh Dat, creator of Pao's Forest.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Department of Film deputy director Ly Phuong Dung said: "I appreciate the projects by all the Vietnamese talent, in the country and abroad, who have participated in the 'My Vietnam' short film competition, powered by Netflix's Cinema Beauty - Vietnam Creative Economy Grant."
"I've seen in these projects the beauty of creativity, enthusiasm and professionalism. These projects bring a subtle discovery of life and tell the stories of Vietnamese people today — the customs, habits, and cultural traditions of Vietnamese living in Vietnam and abroad, the disadvantaged people in society, nature and our environment. Each project proves the great love these aspiring filmmakers have for the nation and Vietnamese people."
Amy Sawitta Lefevre, Netflix Head of External Affairs, APAC, said: "We are delighted to announce the top three winners of the competition. These are stories by talented Vietnamese filmmakers from Vietnam and about Vietnam, and I could not be prouder to view these beautiful films that say so much about the rich culture and history of the beautiful place that is Vietnam."
First launched in October 2021 with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism support, the grant marks Netflix's first Creative Economy Grant in Vietnam to support the country's creative economy and Vietnamese filmmakers from underrepresented groups, creating more opportunities for their voices to be heard.