Vietnamese director wins inspirational award at Cannes

FranceMai Vu, director of the movie “Spring Roll Dream”, won the “Lights on Women” award at Cannes, May 28.

“Spring Roll Dream” is a stop motion animation with characters molded from clay. Video: Youtube The National Film & Television School

Actress Kate Winslet presents a prize of 30,000 euros to Mai Vu. Viguier-Hovasse, the sponsor’s representative, said the short film director was chosen because the genre reflects the future of the film industry. Their aim is to encourage female filmmakers to express their voice and overcome the lack of funding, one of the reasons why men dominate women in the film industry.

Kate Winslet presents the award to Mai Vu.  Photo: LP

Kate Winslet presents the award to Mai Vu. Image: LP

Previously, the work screened in the category La Cinef of the festival. The category was established in 1998, dedicated to finding new talent. Each year, the organizers select 15 to 20 short and long films from thousands of films by young directors from film schools around the world. This year, 16 works were selected out of 1,528 films sent back.

The film revolves around a Vietnamese family in the US. Linh (voiced by Elyse Dinh) is a single mother who is building a stable life for herself and her son Alan (Jarlan Bogolubov). Their family was turned upside down when her father – Mr. Sang (People’s Artist Bui Bai Binh) came to visit from his hometown. During a cooking session, he insisted on making salad rolls for his nephew, but Linh wanted to cook macaroni and cheese. The father and son disagreed about the choice of food, and it was at this time that the generation gap was evident.

The character Mr. Sang was inspired by a lonely old father who wants to connect with his children and grandchildren but can only express his emotions through cooking. “When thinking about the idea for a graduation film, I wanted to tell the story of this man. I got the inspiration for the film from my father and my family,” Mai Vu said. The director puts the work in the context of Western – Eastern cultural differences, where young people want to build their egos, while old people have difficulty integrating.

A scene from the movie Spring Roll Dream.  Photo: NFTS

A scene from the movie “Spring Roll Dream”. Image: NFTS

The female director is impressed with the voice of the character Hoa (Bui Bai Binh) in the film Guava season (2000) directed by Dang Nhat Minh. From the moment she created the work, she used all her connections to invite Bui Bai Binh to play the role of the father and the artist agreed. “His voice is very emotional, so despite the language difference, my teachers and friends when watching the movie understood a little bit about the character,” she said.

Prize Lights On Women announced by the main sponsor of Cannes last year. The annual winning candidate is named and awarded by the star Kate Winslet. In 2021, German female director Aleksandra Odic won with the work FRIDA22 minutes long, about a nurse and a patient.

Mai Vu was born in 1992 in Ho Chi Minh City, started working with animation since 2011. At first, she made short films for friends to see, then fell in love with animation. Hello Pencil, Vietnam’s first stop motion animated series, directed more than 70 episodes. She self-explored new knowledge about animation technology in the process of working. Mai Vu worked with the project in many roles as a screenwriter, photographer, and film editor from 2012 to 2015. In 2020, she went to the UK to study animation, graduating in March this year. During her career, she also made promotional videos, mainly in the form of stop motion.

The 2022 Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 17 to 28. This year, the star of the work won the Palme d’Or Titane Vincent Lindon – as Chairman of the Jury. Triangle of Sadness – international co-production directed by Ruben Östlund – won the Palme d’Or.

Ha Thu


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