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Oct 06, 2023 / 11:24

Bui Xuan Phai Award 2023 honors film director Dang Nhat Minh

Now in its 16th year, the award honors ideas, works, actions, and important contributions to Hanoi. This year's top award goes to director Dang Nhat Minh.

With cinematic works related to Hanoi's historical milestones such as Hanoi in the Winter of '46, Guava House, Jasmine, People's Artist, director Dang Nhat Minh was awarded the Grand Prize at the Bui Xuan Phai Award-For the Love of Hanoi 2023.

The award ceremony was held in Hanoi on the afternoon of October 5.

Director and People's Artist Dang Nhat Minh was born in the ancient capital city of Hue in 1938. His family didn't move to Hanoi until two years after Capital Liberation Day (1956), but over the past 60 years, this place has shaped him and stirred a variety of emotions in the filmmaker.

 Director Dang Nhat Minh receives the Grand Prize. Photo: VNA

"Hanoi in My Heart is something that cannot be replaced, no matter where I go. Hanoi has shaped me as an artist-filmmaker. I have come this far all because of Hanoi," he said.

Hanoi saw Dang Nhat Minh grow up while he witnessed many upheavals in Hanoi. Thus, with attachment and understanding, each period of the capital city became the inspiration and subject of his film. Minh's three films, Hanoi in the Winter of '46, Guava House, and Jasmine are evidence of the bond with the capital.

Hanoi in the Winter of 1946 was the Hanoi of wartime when people were "determined to brave death for the revival of the country". Guava House tells of post-liberation Hanoi in the late 50s and early 60s of the last century. In Jasmine, Hanoi is a modern city where people from all over the country come to live and do business, navigating the complexities of social relations. However, Hanoi continues to demonstrate a great sense of inter-human compassion and caring, helping many individuals to succeed in life.

 Scripts of films directed by Dang Nhat Minh. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

Looking back on his films about Hanoi, director Dang Nhat Minh believes it was fate.

"I make movies based on emotions. It's emotional cinema. My emotions are unintentionally associated with important historical periods of Hanoi. It all comes naturally, without any calculation or intention," said director Dang Nhat Minh.

The Grand Prize, he said, is a recognition of his love for the capital, which is expressed in his cinematic works.

Minh is the first Vietnamese citizen to receive the Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture in 1991 and the first Vietnamese director to be honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his contributions to cinematography in 2010.

Minh also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gwangju International Film Festival in South Korea in 2005 and the Licorne d'Or d'Honneur (Golden Unicorn Award) at the 36th Amiens International Film Festival in 2016.

In 2022, he was awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture for his contribution to promoting cultural understanding between Vietnam and France.

In addition to the Grand Prize, the 16th Bui Xuan Phai Award-For the Love of Hanoi 2023 presented the Work Prize for the book Hang Bot StreetA "Trivial" Story to Remember by Ho Cong Thiet (published by Labor Publishing House and Chibooks) and the photo exhibition Hanoi Streets 1985-2015: In the Years of Forgetting by William E. Crawford, jointly organized by Manzi Art Space and Art Vietnam Gallery with the support of the US Embassy in Vietnam.

The Action Prize was awarded to the Hanoi Autumn Festival, hosted by the Hanoi Promotion Center (Hanoi People's Committee).

 Suzanne Lecht, director of Art Vietnam Gallery, co-organizer of photo exhibition Hanoi Streets 1985-2015: In the Years of Forgetting by William E. Crawford. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

The Idea Award went to Hanoi Municipality, Hanoi Metropolitan University, and related units for making "Hanoi Studies" a subject of general education in Hanoi.

According to Ha Minh Hai, Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, the Bui Xuan Phai Award-For the Love of Hanoi is meant to motivate and encourage authors to create cultural works and promote beautiful activities for the love of Hanoi.

"We believe and hope that the cultural products of the winners of the Bui Xuan Phai Award for the Love of Hanoi will continue to spread and contribute to the concretization of the City Party Committee's Resolution No. 09 on the development of cultural industries to maximize cultural and human resources and create endogenous strength, which is an important driving force and resource for the development of the capital," Hai said.

The representative of the jury, historian Duong Trung Quoc, said that this year's award takes place on the 15th anniversary of the Hanoi capital expanding its administrative boundaries (2008-2023). In recent years, the awards have increasingly confirmed their prestige and importance.

"We can choose certain works, honor certain ways of doing things, but have one thing in common: love for Hanoi. We find it difficult every year because there are many ideas and works to beautify the capital. The problem is how to choose the worthy winners who will win people's hearts," Quoc said.

The Bui Xuan Phai Award-For the Love of Hanoi, was established in 2008 by the Sports and Culture Newspaper (Vietnam News Agency) and the family of the late artist Bui Xuan Phai to recognize authors, works, ideas and endeavors with high scientific and artistic value, imbued with love for Hanoi.