[PRESS RELEASE] – Ho Chi Minh City International Film Festival officially opens on April 6

admin 2024/04/04 11:00

Ho Chi Minh City – April 4, 2024 – The inaugural Ho Chi Minh City International Film Festival (HIFF 2024), organized by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Sports and VietFest, will officially open on April 6, 2024. For the first time, Ho Chi Minh City will host an international film event of this magnitude, featuring over 200 international filmmakers and guests, along with a large number of Vietnamese filmmakers and artists. The event will take place over eight days, from April 6 to April 13, 2024.

The festival’s opening ceremony will be held at 6:00 PM on April 6, showcasing spectacular artistic performances and a premiere film screening. Leading figures of Vietnamese cinema such as People’s Artist (NSND) Trà Giang, NSND Kim Cương, NSND Đào Bá Sơn, NSND Trịnh Kim Chi, actress Hồng Ánh, actress Trương Ngọc Ánh, actor Quyền Linh, director Charlie Nguyễn, director Nguyễn Quang Dũng, and producer/director Lý Hải will attend the events. They will be joined by international cinema luminaries, including legendary Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu, Oscar-winning film editor Tom Cross (La La Land), former Artistic Director of the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes – Olivier Peré, leading South Korean director Kim Jee-woon, director Park Gyu Tae (of the hit film “6/45”), director Kim Ha Min (of the series “Noryang”), producer Jay Choi (“The Good, The Bad, The Weird”), French director Anne Fontaine, French actor Raphael Personnaz (Cannes 2023 Camera d’Or jury member), and American-Filipino actress Liza Soberano.

HIFF 2024 will feature three main competition categories: Southeast Asian Films, First Feature Films, and Short Films, with awards including the Golden Star for Best Southeast Asian Film, Best Emerging Director, Best Short Film, and the Ho Chi Minh City Film Award. Additionally, individual awards will be given for best director, actor, cinematographer, editor, visual effects, and more.

For its first edition, HIFF has received over 400 film submissions, 56 projects for the Project Market, and 87 scripts for the VietScript Lab.

The HIFF Project Market, inheriting the tradition of Autumn Meeting under the guidance of producer Trần Thị Bích Ngọc, has attracted numerous projects from around the world. Out of 56 projects (including 5 Art Films and 5 Entertainment Films), 10 will be selected for training and presentation to investors and studios. Notably, one of the submissions is from the director of the 2023 box-office hit “6/45” (South Korea). This year’s Project Market is supported by the French National Cinema Center (CNC).

The VietScript Lab, debuting at HIFF, is led by renowned filmmakers and has garnered enthusiastic participation from young screenwriters. With a philosophy focused on developing scriptwriting talent—a critical factor for the success of films and the industry—the VietScript Lab is exclusive to Vietnamese-language films produced in Vietnam. International filmmakers can participate if their films are produced in Vietnam. This strategy aims to develop international co-productions and position Ho Chi Minh City as a new destination for film production.

Directors Kore-eda and Kim Jee-woon will conduct film workshops for young filmmakers during the festival. These sessions will be more than just exchanges; they will be in-depth masterclasses on filmmaking.

In addition to the competition and professional activities for filmmakers, HIFF will feature a series of thematic seminars on developing Southeast Asian cinema, Ho Chi Minh City’s film development strategy, cultural diplomacy through cinema, and practical issues in film cooperation and production. These will involve leaders from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, central government agencies, Ho Chi Minh City authorities, the Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City Film Associations, honorary president Kim Dong Ho, NSND Đào Bá Sơn, the president of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), the chairman of the Korean Film Review Board, and directors of the Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia film festivals.

On April 6, 2024, Nguyen Hue Walking Street will host an exhibition celebrating the glorious achievements of Vietnamese revolutionary cinema over 71 years, themed “Glory of Vietnamese Revolutionary Cinema.” This exhibition, running until the festival’s conclusion, will be a significant attraction for cinema lovers both domestically and internationally.

HIFF 2024 will also feature special sections showcasing diverse global cinema, including the Crossroads of Cinema, highlighting new French animation works, and the Vietnamese Cinema Panorama, presenting a vibrant picture of Vietnamese cinema with landmark films. The Ho Chi Minh City Films section will highlight works reflecting the city’s culture, lifestyle, and people, expected to attract both local and international audiences.

During the first eight days of April, Ho Chi Minh City will be immersed in the festive atmosphere of an international film festival, with international guests staying at major hotels in the city center. The opening and closing red carpet ceremonies will take place at the Municipal Theatre, which will also screen special films by prominent guest directors. The Directorial Symphony section will honor director Kore-eda, feature an audience interaction with director Kim Jee-woon, and host a Korean film gala with the Southeast Asian premiere of “It’s Okay,” the global premiere of “The Dearest” (Japan), and the global premiere of “Dead Boys Club” (Malaysia).

A unique new feature of HIFF 2024 is Cine Park, organized in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Sports, the Thu Duc City People’s Committee, and THACO Group. Opening on April 7, 2024, at the riverside park in Thu Duc City, Cine Park will offer diverse activities, including outdoor film screenings, artistic performances, and interactions with famous actors and filmmakers. Stars such as Trương Ngọc Ánh and Quyền Linh will participate, along with notable expatriate filmmakers who have contributed significantly to Ho Chi Minh City’s cinema, like Lưu Huỳnh and Võ Thanh Hoà. THACO is a strategic partner of HIFF, sponsoring major components of Cine Park and providing 80 cars for guest transportation.

Other entertainment activities within the festival will occur at Nguyen Hue Walking Street, including Cine Show – Film Music on April 9, directed by NS Lê Thanh Tâm, featuring artists Quách Mai Thy, Mai Trang, Ngọc Trân, Phương Mỹ Chi, Only C, Phạm Toàn Thắng, Hà Okio, Ái Phương, MTV, Vũ Thảo My, and Cece Trương. On April 12, there will be an interaction with the cast and crew of “Lật Mặt” directed by Lý Hải.

On April 13 and 14, HIFF will host Cine Show – Classic Disney Film Music “Beauty and the Beast” with the original soundtrack performed by the Saigon Philharmonic Orchestra at Hoa Binh Theatre. The international media has already taken notice of HIFF, with coverage by Screen Daily, Hollywood Reporter, and Deadline since its international debut at the Busan Film Festival in October 2023.


Mrs. Đỗ Hoa – Deputy Executive Director

Ho Chi Minh City International Film Festival

Phone: 097-956-1919

• Website: www.hiff.vn

• Email: hiff@vietfest.vn