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Vietnamese Short Awarded Illy Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2019

Director's Fortnight is an independent event running parallel to the main Cannes Film Festival, organized by the French Directors Guild starting in 1969.

Short film Hay Tinh Thuc Va San Sang (Stay Awake, Be Ready), directed by Vietnamese young filmmaker Pham Thien An, was recently awarded the Illy Short Film Award in the Cannes Director's Fortnight section.

The film, which spans 14 minutes, focuses on a conversation between three young men at a street food restaurant before a traffic accident happens. 

"I want to portray a picture of a society comprised of different lives and faiths. When you're sitting at a nhậu place in Saigon, you can observe many people making ends meet in that area, for example, a boy, a construction worker, scavengers, lottery tickets sellers," said An in an interview with RFI, adding that the saying "stay awake, be ready" is a reference to the gospel, which reminds human of their position in the society.

"Humans assume they are becoming bigger, but they are only one element in the universe," An continued. Born in 1989, Pham Thien An only started realizing his interest in filmmaking after four years of studying information technology in university. In 2015, An moved to Texas to continue his freelance filmmaking career. An's first short Cam Lang (The Mute) was screened at many international film festivals in Europe and North America.

Last month, another Vietnamese short, Duong Mat (Wayless), produced by Zobra and Imaginary Friends was also selected to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in The Short Film Corner section. 

Watch the trailer for the short below:

[Photo via Lights On Film]

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