European Film Festival returns to Vietnam across four key cities

Youth, family and solidarity were key themes at this year’s festival

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The European Film Festival in Vietnam (EUFF) hit cinemas across four major cities in May. Returning after a temporary COVID-19 hiatus, the 21st EUFF introduced filmgoers, cultural enthusiasts and youths to 17 movies from EU Member States and Ukraine. The curated selection presented a window into Europe's rich cultural heritage and diversity in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Danang and Dalat.

Organised by the EU Delegation to Vietnam, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, youth organisations, universities, and European cultural institutes, the festival attracted almost 9,000 visitors across multiple venues.

The official ceremonies alone welcomed almost 1,000 people. In Hanoi, the launch event at the National Cinema Centre was opened by EU Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Mr Giorgio Aliberti. The festival kicked off with the Ukrainian musical comedy Hutsulka Ksenya with a performance of the soundtrack by a local orchestra. Several Ukrainian residents attended in traditional costumes.

In Danang, long-time Polish resident Piotr Frieske joined the EU Head of Political, Press and Information Section Thomas Weirsing to introduce Poland’s entry Never Gonna Snow Again. The opening in Dalat featured Ambassador Aliberti introducing the Dutch movie Romy’s Salon.

Film Festival in Vietnam 1
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Ukraine audience Film Festival in Vietnam

Loosely arranged around the themes of ‘family’ and ‘youth’, the films introduced a plural perspective of European life and culture.

Catering to the young demographic is particularly important at the 21st EUFF, given that 2022 is the European Year of the Youth and over half of Vietnam’s population is below 35. The EUFF also continues to foster the EU-Vietnam cultural exchanges and mutual understanding.

Before the launch, an online talk, 'European Cinema: Near or Far' with Vietnamese movie critic Le Hong Lam, director Trinh Dinh Le Minh, journalist Ngoc Nick M, and Director of the Goethe Institute Wilfried Eckstein was eagerly viewed by more than 1,700 film enthusiasts on EUD’s Facebook page.

Two further talks were conducted to strengthen the EU’s engagements with local audiences. The first event, which welcomed more than 200 people, was held at the cinema in Hanoi after screening the Swedish film And Then We Dance on 23 May. The second talk was held in HCMC following the screening of Never Gonna Snow Again.

The festival has already garnered considerable media attention, including extensive coverage on national broadcaster Vietnam Television.

Find out more about this year’s EUFF here.

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