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Film by young VN director wins top prize at Autumn Meeting

A film project called ‘Handsome Guy For Rent’ won the category of commercial film at Autumn Meeting 2018, an international cinema event providing the opportunity for young filmmakers in the region.

The sixth annual Autumn Meeting took place in Hoi An and Da Nang, attracting more than 100 participants from the host nation as well as the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan (China), Japan, Cambodia and Myanmar.

The event enables cinematic exchange between the countries’ film industries and offers courses in basic acting, advanced acting, producing, directing, costumes and designing.

Lecturers included director Tran Anh Hung, actress Tran Nu Yen Khe, Korean actress Lydia Park, People’s Artist Le Khanh, director Leon Quang Le, producer Bao Nguyen and producer John Badalu.

Hung is the only member that has worked with Autumn Meeting since its first edition. He was an Oscar nominee and Cannes Camera d’Or winner in 1993 for Scent of Green Papaya. More recently, he directed the 2010 adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s hit novel Norwegian Wood and Eternity (2016) starring Audrey Tautou, Berenice Bejo and Melanie Laurent.

Autumn Meeting holds pitch sessions where young filmmakers can present their projects and ask for investment.

In the category of art film, 'Fruit Gathering' by director Aung Phyoe of Myanmar won the top prize. The film reflects the loneliness of a person and the society of Myanmar. CGV (Cultural, Great and Vital) Group will invest to bring the project to life.

The film ‘Handsome Guy for Rent’ by Do Nhu Thu won the category of commercial film. The film is about the 19-year-old Linh, who suffers from leukemia. Her father hires a boyfriend for her from an online dating service, and before long real love develops between the young couple. Directors Charlie Nguyen, Le Thanh Son and Phan Gia Nhat Linh, members of the jury, said they agreed to select Thu’s project because of its emotional story telling.

Over the past five years, Autumn Meeting has given chances to many young directors. Many of the films it has featured have gone on to international film festivals. ‘The Third Wife’ by Nguyen Phuong Anh was selected for the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) at the 2016 Hong Kong International Film Festival and received a cash prize of 20,000 USD.

‘Culi Never Cries’ by Phan Ngac Lan received the Hubert Bals Fund for Script Development at International Film Festival Rotterdam. ‘Culi Never Cries’ and ‘Taste’ by Le Bao were chosen for the L’Atelier Cinefondation at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Finally, ‘The Lottery Boy’ by Tran Dung Thanh Huy and ‘Cha Cha Cha’ by Do Quoc Trung were selected for the Asian Project Market (APM) at the Busan International Film Festival 2015.