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Berlin film fest to drop sex distinctions in awards




This photo shows the Silver Bear awards of Berlin Film Festival. — Photo Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival Facebook

BERLIN — There will be no more separate Silver Bear awards for best actor and best actress at the Berlin film festival in future, organisers announced on Monday, saying they want to eliminate forms of hierarchy between men and women.

From next year, the German capital’s Berlinale will only crown the best performances in a leading and a supporting role.

The announcement follows years in which the film world has been shaken by #MeToo sexual abuse and harassment scandals that spread far beyond Hollywood.

An end to sex-separated awards represents “a signal for a more gender-sensitive awareness in the film industry”, the two festival directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian said in a statement.

Alongside the Cannes and Venice film festivals, the Berlinale is one of the European highlights of the annual cinema industry calendar.

Cannes still singles out a best actor and actress, while Venice awards a Volpi cup to actors of each sex.

Taking place in February, this year’s Berlinale was squeezed in before coronavirus restrictions slammed down across much of Europe, while Cannes had to be called off.

Venice’s festival will go ahead next week under strict infection control measures.

Next year’s Berlinale is planned to take place “physically” from February 11-21, with measures “ensuring the greatest possibility for all guests”, the organisers said.

But changes in “the festival structure, the film programming and the total number of invited films” will be revealed in the coming weeks, they added. — AFP



Lives of Cống ethnic people in Điện Biên Province




Lả Chà Village in Nậm Pồ District, one of the few villages in the northern mountain province of Điện Biên where the ethnic Cống people live. VNA/ Photo Xuân Tiến



ĐIỆN BIÊN — Lả Chà Village in the northern mountainous province of Điện Biên’s Nậm Pồ District is home to a Cống ethnic community, one of the five ethnic minority communities in the province with 79 households and nearly 400 inhabitants.

Cống children in Là Chà Village have fun during their extracurricular school hours. — VNA/ Photo Xuân Tiến 

The living conditions of the Cống people in the village have improved in the past few years due to support from the Government and local authorities.

Investment projects on infrastructure construction, agricultural production, and cultural preservation in the district have helped change the lives of local people.

A traditional dance featuring the manual farming works of Cống ethnic people in Lả Chà Village, Điện Biên Province. VNA/ Photo Xuân Tiến

The village is now connected with the electricity network, while roads, schools, and bridges have been built, creating convenient conditions for people to develop all aspects of life.

An old woman of the Cống ethnic group doing some manual cultivation work in the garden. VNA/ Photo Xuân Tiến

In the past, Cống people had very difficult lives as they depended a lot on self-sufficiency and migration.

They earned their living just by manual cultivation on slash-and-burn fields, so crop productivity was very low. — 


Some festivals, cultural rituals and spiritual beliefs of families and clans in the village are performed by a shaman. VNA/ Photo Xuân Tiến






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Locals preserve value of Vietnamese brocade




Many artists are taking part in the second Việt Nam Brocade Culture Festival being held in Đắk Nông Province. Photo

HCM CITY —Preservation of traditional Vietnamese brocade helps not only highlight cultural values but also contribute to socio-economic development and improves the quality of life for ethnic minorities.

Many makers of brocade are trying to preserve their weaving culture and seeking financial support.

The second Việt Nam Brocade Culture Festival which is taking place in Đắk Nông Province aims to attract investment in preserving the traditional handicraft. It will run through Sunday.

Ka Mom from the Châu Mạ ethnic group in Lộc Tân Commune in Lâm Đồng Province’s Bảo Lâm District noted that the commune has more than 500 women who know how to weave brocade. Some are from families that have been weaving for three generations.

Ka formed a brocade weaving cooperative about three years ago with 15 members, who were offered a VNĐ5 million (US loan per person by the Women’s Union. 

However, the cooperative disbanded after the Women’s Union decided to stop funding its members after a year of operation.

“It’s very challenging to make products and find sales outputs on our own,” Ka said.

Ka usually needs over a week to weave a piece of fabric that usually costs VNĐ800,000 in the market. “There should be ‘regulations’ during festive and holiday seasons to wear brocade items to preserve this cultural value,” she said.

Meanwhile, Lâm Nữ Minh from the Chăm ethnic group said that she is one of 80 members of the Chăm Mỹ Nghiệp Brocade Weaving Cooperative in Phước Dân Commune in Ninh Thuận Province’s Ninh Phước District.

Despite an income of VNĐ1.5 million per month after excluding daily expenses, members of the cooperative have been pursuing their passion for a long time.

Except for a few people who love ethnic brocade, many locals, especially young people, have switched to working at factories to earn higher incomes, she said.

Since brocade products are usually sold to international tourists, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to keep the industry going. 

“We cannot promote our products efficiently with such an income. We want to take part in more festivals to sell our products and exchange experiences with other artists,” Minh said. “We also seek financial support for professional machinery used to make fabric, while weaving the brocade parts manually. Most importantly, we are looking for better ways for our products to be circulated and consumed.”

Authorities in some provinces have focused on the preservation of brocade weaving and have organised training courses for ethnic minority women in recent years.

However, because of the country’s global integration and economic transition, it is challenging to fully preserve the beauty of brocade weaving profession.

Skilled artists have become older, and many youngsters are not passionate enough about the trade to pursue a career.

The chairman of Đắk Nông Province People’s Committee, Nguyễn Đình Trung, said that brocade has contributed to the solidarity and cultural diversity of 54 ethnic groups. 

“It is a cultural bridge between us. Let’s join hands to bring Vietnamese brocade closer to people, especially foreign visitors!” he said.

In order for the profession to thrive, authorities should create incentives to encourage artists in Đắk Nông Province to search for markets at tourist destinations by themselves, set up stores of brocade products, and collaborate with other cooperatives or trading companies to expand the market, Trung said. — 


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Veteran photographer’s exhibition to raise funds for charity




A photo at the exhibition Thấu Cảm – Chuyện chưa kể (Sharing- Untold Stories) by veteran artist Lê Hồng Linh of HCM City. The event features 108 black-and-white and colour photos highlighting rural women and children in daily life. Images displaying Vietnamese culture and lifestyle are also featured. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

HCM CITY — A photo exhibition about Việt Nam and its people by veteran artist Lê Hồng Linh, who has 30 years of experience in the industry, is opening in HCM City’s Youth Cultural House to raise funds for poor students.

The event, called Thấu Cảm – Chuyện chưa kể (Sharing – Untold Stories), features 108 black-and-white and colour photos highlighting rural women and children in daily life. Images displaying Vietnamese culture and lifestyle are also featured. 

The event includes a series of colour photos capturing famous landscapes and historic sites. 

“My love for my country and people has increased. Through his lens, Việt Nam is so beautiful,” said Võ Quỳnh Trang, a student at the HCM City University of Law, who visited the exhibition. 


Linh’s photos are on sale to raise funds to build libraries for students in flooded areas in the central region. (Photo courtesy of the organiser)

 Linh and the event’s organiser, the HCM City Youth Cultural House, hosted a photo auction last week to raise funds for the charity programme called Thư Viện Ước Mơ (Dream Library). 

More than  VNĐ1.6 billion (US$70,000) was donated from photo sales. The money will be used to build 25 libraries for students living in flooded areas in the central region. 

Linh hopes he will raise money enough to build 60 libraries for schools and cultural centres in remote provinces across the country. 

Thư Viện Ước Mơ began in 2014 and has built 36 libraries and reading areas for 18,000 students in nine cities and provinces. The programme’s creators are working to encourage more organisers and individuals to become involved in the charity. 

To join the online auction, visit the programme’s website

Linh is a mechanical engineer from the central Quảng Ngãi Province. He worked as a lecturer in engineering at several colleges in HCM City.  He has been awarded over 400 international photography prizes and medals, dozens of honorary titles, and was a jury member at international photography contests eight times.

His has organised solo and group exhibitions in 11 countries.

“I love capturing the happiness, sorrow, hatred, smiles, crying, worry and astonishment of children throughout Việt Nam, which I believe will fade away rapidly with urban modernisation and expansion,” said Linh. 

The exhibition, Thấu Cảm – Chuyện chưa kể, is being held at 4 Phạm Ngọc Thạch Street in District 3. It will close on November 31. —






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