No local films are eligible to compete at the upcoming 86th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, the National Cinema Department recently announced.
After receiving an invitation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to submit the country’s best film for the prize, the National Cinema Department only received one application, for the locally prize-winning film “Thien menh anh hung” (Blood Letter), by the deadline.
The expensive film, which is directed by Vietnamese-American director Victor Vu and jointly produced by Phương Nam Film, Saiga Film and Thanh Niên Film, earned prizes at the 2012 Golden Kite awards, the country’s counterpart to the Oscars.
However, the film failed to meet the 86th Oscar’s selection criteria regarding distribution time. While the competing film is supposed to debut locally from October 2012 to September 2013, “Thien menh anh hung” debuted in January 2012 and officially hit local screens in January and February 2012.
Vietnam has sent its best films to the Oscars for several years. “Mui co chay” (The Scent of the Burning Grass), “Vua bai rac” (The King of the Landfill), “Mua len trau” (The Buffalo Boy), which earned prizes at several international film festivals, and “Dung dot” (Don’t Burn), which is based on the real story of the heroic war doctor Dang Thuy Tram, all made their way to the Oscars but went home empty-handed.
Over recent years, local filmmakers have shown little interest in taking their films to the Oscars, as most of them find the dream too good to be true.
The development strategy for 2030 which was recently put forward by the department set a goal that local movies may someday compete at prestigious international award festivals such as the Oscars, Cannes, Venice and Berlin.
However, many from the film industry found this target far-fetched. The department has since limited its goals to the regional scale.
The Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film award was created in 1956 and is presented annually by the Academy to a movie which is produced outside the US and contains mostly non-English dialogue.
The 86th Academy Awards ceremony is set for March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California.