|Consul General of Italy in HCMC Dante Brandi speaks at the press conference – PHOTO: MINH TUAN|
HCMC – The Consulate General of Italy in HCMC will organize Italy’s Culture Days in Saigon 2020 with a series of events such as film screenings, a design talk and a music performance to celebrate the holiday season with an Italian twist.
The Italian Film Festival will take place at Galaxy Cinema Nguyen Du in District 1 from December 18 to 27, offering a glimpse into the production of contemporary Italian movies.
“Italy will be seen through the lens of six beautiful movies that deal with some of the most relevant themes in today’s Italian society, such as immigration, urban living conditions, family relationships and resilience in the face of difficulties,” Consul General of Italy Dante Brandi said at a press conference on December 16.
“Additionally, each film promises to be an Italian cultural feast, depicting Italian architecture, Italian fashion, Italian art and Italian history clearly,” he added.
The six movies to be screened consist of Perfect Strangers (2016) by Paolo Genovese, Magari-If Only (2019) by Ginevra Elkann, Sole (2019) by Carlo Sironi, Ginger and Fred (1986) by Federico Fellini, Bangla (2019) by Phaim Bhuiyan and Dafne (2019) by Federico Bondi.
On the occasion of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the Consulate General of Italy will present the Short Film Day 2020 on December 21.
Six contemporary Italian short films will be screened at the Consulate General of Italy, depicting the most interesting national production of this genre.
The event is being held in cooperation with the Italian Short Film Center and will be open to an audience of Vietnamese students of Italian language, the Vietnamese-Italian alumni community and to lovers of short films.
Six short movies to be screened are Il Nostro Tempo (2019) by Veronica Spedicati, Lunedì (2019) by Massimo Fallai, Mezze Stagioni (2019) by Bruno Ugioli and Riccardo Menicatti, Passaggi (2019) by Beppe Leonetti, 14 (2019) by Aldo Surricchio and Jiaozi (2019) by Luca Canale Brucculeri.
A design talk themed “Design: Reconnecting” aimed at stimulating a discussion on the dynamics between brand and design and the way in which design has evolved in the context of current challenges will be held at the Residence of the Consul General of Italy in HCMC on December 22.
The conversation, which will be in English, will be livestreamed on the Consulate General of Italy’s Facebook page. It will be moderated by Consul General of Italy Dante Brandi and will feature award-winning designer Toan Nguyen, District Eight’s founder and creative director Darren Chew, District Eight’s brand director Roberto Archetti and managing editor of Elle Decoration Vietnam Duong Nguyen.
A tribute concert to Ennio Morricone, one of the most prolific and greatest film composers of all time, will take place at the Saigon Opera House on December 27.
The tribute concert will be performed by the Saigon Philharmonic Orchestra and by Jumpforjazz, featuring Nguyen Tuan Loc as a conductor, Le Minh Hien playing a violin solo, Pham Khanh Ngoc as the vocalist and Lan Anh playing a piano solo.
The concert features music from motion picture Cinema Paradiso, Once Upon a Time in America, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Legend of 1900, The Mission and La Califfa.
Born in Rome in 1928, Ennio Morricone became famous worldwide for writing more than 400 scores for cinema and television. His filmography includes more than 70 award-winning films.
Exhibition of disadvantaged children’s paintings held in Hà Nội
HÀ NỘI — Exhibition “Gratitude” featuring 50 artworks by disadvantaged children during the COVID-19 pandemic, took place at the United Nations Office in Hà Nội on Friday on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
This event is a follow-up to the contest “For a Triumphant Việt Nam” for child patients aged 4-16 nationwide.
The works of the contest were previously exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Art in Hà Nội from November 18-22, attracting more than 1,000 visitors, including Vietnamese President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his wife, Madam Trần Nguyệt Thu.
In the opening ceremony, Rana Flower, UNICEF Representative in Việt Nam, emphasised the importance of taking good care of disadvantaged children in our society.
She expressed concern for the current lack of access to many areas of life, especially health care and education, which many children, especially those with disabilities, are facing.
Thảo Griffiths, Chief Representative of the American Veterans Fund in Việt Nam, said that besides economic development, a well-developed Việt Nam is shown by how we treat children, especially the vulnerable ones.
At the exhibition, through the stories, messages, pictures and thoughts ingrained in each work, viewers are taken on an emotional journey raising awareness and an understanding of COVID through the children’s eyes.
Those interested will have a chance to buy these paintings to raise funds to support the children. All the proceeds from the sale of the paintings will be managed by the Hope Foundation – VnExpress to support children with cancer, disabilities, or from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Three children, including Chu Ánh Tuyết (aged 15) with cancer, Lê Thị Hồng Ngọc (aged 15), and Lee Nguyen Sae Hee (aged 10), showcased their resilient spirit through the paintings at the exhibition.
Though Tuyết was tired from her cancer treatment, she tried her best to complete her drawing titled “The magical hands”, illustrating people’s hands joining together in the COVID 19 pandemic.
Ngọc moved everyone at the exhibition with her “Good Night” picture as she talked about the children who died during the COVID 19 pandemic and her wishes for a brighter future.
Nguyễn Thị Ánh Vân, Sae Hee’s mother, shared her difficulties when raising an autistic child and joys when discovering his talents for drawing. —
Flowers are in blossom everywhere – now is the time for the best photos
After waking up early, Bùi Thanh Tuyền and her friends were ready just minutes later to start their flower tour in a suburb of Hà Nội.
It took the friends about an hour and a half hour to reach Ba Vì District, 50km from the city centre. Here, they could admire the beautiful yellow dã quỳ (Mexican sunflower or tree marigold) fields that have become a magnet for thousands of people in the area.
“I just heard about dã quỳ in the north recently. I talked with my friends and we were all excited about the tour. We did not want to miss the season of dã quỳ, which only last a few weeks in the last three months of the year,” Tuyền told Việt Nam News.
“They bloom in a short period, so if you guys do not hurry you will have to wait another year!”
Tuyền and her friends shared that they had a great time together, taking photos to remember their time with the dã quỳ. They all agree that they will come back to Bà Vì next year.
Hoàng Quang Khôi wanted to relax after a busy working week and decided to take his family to the Ba Vì National Park, 10km further from where Tuyền was, to see the flowers.
“We took a bus to get there. On the way to the park, we saw many pathways with dã quỳ blossoms but here it is like a huge garden. We are in front of a big large golden carpet of flowers,” said Khôi.
“We have to get up early to get here at the best time of day, between 8-10 am in the morning, otherwise we would have to wait until 5 or 6pm when the flowers are golden in the sunset.
“If possible, I would like to camp here, spending the night in the park, and then we can see these beauties during sunrise, which would be amazing!” said Khôi, who joined hundreds of people in taking photos with the wild yellow blossoms.
Dã quỳ are visible from the gates of the park and can be seen along most of the 12.5km road to the top of Ba Vì Mountain.
In Việt Nam, the flowers are also called cúc quỳ, sơn quỳ, quỳ dại and hướng dương dại. They are a symbol of faithful love, energetic vitality, pride and resilience. When exactly they bloom changes a little bit each year, depending on the weather conditions, but it is usually between October and the end of December.
It is said that the French grew dã quỳ in the 1930s. For many years, it was considered a kind of wild plant and was regularly uprooted. But since 2015, the park managers decided to let them grow and began taking care of them. They realised that tourists love the flowers and they come back more often for them.
Dã quỳ is a member of the daisy family. It also can be found in various cool climate localities such as in Mộc Châu District, Sơn La Province, and Pass Sài Hồ in Lạng Sơn Province in the north, Quảng Trị Province’s Hướng Hóa District in the central region and Gia Lai Province’s Pass Mang Yang and Chư Đăng Ya Volcano in the Central Highlands. But Đà Lạt City in Lâm Đồng Province is the most famous destination for this flower.
Dã quỳ can be seen in various corners in the highland city but the best sites are on the outskirts. Trekkers and locals have mapped out different routes to these help tourists make the most of the beautiful scenery.
People can visit Vạn Thành Flower Village, Elephant Waterfall and Langbiang Mount which is about 13km from the centre city. Following another road, visitors can travel about 30km to Trại Mát and Cầu Đất areas in Xuân Trường District. Around 100km away are more spots in Tà Nung, Đơn Dương and Tu Tra.
This time of the year is also the season of many other beautiful flowers for tourists in Đà Lạt.
Pink foxtail grass has lured people, especially the young generation, in recent years. The grass turns pink in early November and remains that colour for more than a month. This wild grass covers the hills near Tuyền Lâm Lake, Golden Stream and Thái Phiên Flower Village.
“The Golden Stream is the most desired spot for wedding photos this season. Here, they will have a beautiful and romantic background that will make their albums spectacular,” said Phạm Minh Tài, who took photos for Tiên Tiên, a bride from Đồng Nai.
Tiên said it was not difficult to get to Đà Lạt. People have to make a health declaration before arriving in the city and follow COVID-19 instructions.
She believed that her album with the pink foxtail will be the best memory of her life.
November and December are the months of the mimosa, or silver wattle, which is native to Australia but can also be found in Đà Lạt, where it is considered a symbol of the city as it can be found nowhere else in the country.
The small yellow or golden-yellow flowers are very fluffy in appearance, due to the presence of numerous stamens. The delicate, fern-like silvery green leaves are attractive all year round. The plants become a mass of bright yellow when they flower in late winter.
A huge number can be found at Pass Prenn and Pass Mimosa.
Back to the north, Sơn La Province’s Mộc Châu plateau is a must-visit destination for its overwhelmingly beautiful white rapeseed and white plum flowers, which bloom from December to early February.
Vast white rapeseed fields in Áng and Pa Phách villages are the biggest and most beautiful, providing tourists with enchanting flowers that stretch to the horizon.
The plum flowers cover many hills and valleys. Visitors can see their blossoms everywhere, from villages to upland fields and along both sides of the highways.
Nà Ka valley, home to over 100ha of clear plum trees, has an exquisite landscape, fresh mountain air, and juicy plums that can be eaten right off the tree in the harvest season.
The next destination for flowers should be Hà Giang Province, about 280km from Hà Nội.
Tam giác mạch (buckwheat) blossoms have tiny wild pink flowers with triangular-shaped leaves, which are in season from late October to December.
The flowers typically have three colours; light pink, glistening purple and dark red. In the bright sunshine, they look like a watercolour painting. Their wild and endless beauty has seduced many people.
Buckwheat flowers symbolise love and happiness. They are cultivated for their grain-like seeds, which are used to make food specialities by ethnic people in the mountainous region.
Sủng Là, Lũng Cú and Xín Mần districts are familiar names to many that have attended the annual Tam Giác Mạch Festival.
“Hà Giang is my next destination, though I will have to check the COVID-19 pandemic control measure before travelling. I can’t wait to visit see the buckwheat flowers,” Tuyền said.
The mother of three also wants to take photos with cúc họa mi (white daisy) in Hà Nội, which has been a hot trend in the capital in recent weeks.
There are many breathtaking fields of flowers that are just waiting for flower lovers to visit, including 60ha of sunflowers in Nghĩa Đàn District in Nghệ An Province; a vast sea of Chi Pâu or swertia in the Tà Chì Nhù Mount in Yên Bái Province; and rapeseed flower fields in Thái Bình Province’s Vũ Thư District and Hà Nội’s Gia Lâm District.
Street arts festival kicks off in HCM City
HCM CITY – A street art festival, Saigon Urban Arts: Street Mural Painting (SUA 2021), will be held in HCM City from December 4-18.
The event is co-organised by the French Institute and the Goethe-Institut in HCM City with the support of the Franco-German Cultural Fund, supported by Pro Helvetia-New Delhi, a liaison office of the Swiss Arts Council in India.
During the event, Vietnamese and international street artists will paint five murals at apartment buildings at 1A Nguyễn Đình Chiểu and the walls at Mai Thị Lựu Street in District 1.
The performance will include Lưu Đoàn Duy Linh – Daes, Nguyễn Tấn Lực aka Cresk, and Lê Nhật Huy – Kleur, who won the JAM – Vietnam Urban Arts 2021 competition held by the French Institute in Việt Nam in April.
They will pair with artists Enni from Germany, Marc Lee from Switzerland, and Bouda from France to create three murals.
Vietnamese artists Daos 501 and Vietnamese-French artist Suby One, who are famous among the street art community in the country, will create their own murals.
All five art works will reflect the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
Visitors can see the artists work at the venue from 9am – 12pm and 2pm – 5pm on December 11.
SUA 2021 aims to honour the beauty of street arts. Through events, audiences can understand more about the values of the art, including beautifying the city and connecting people.
The organisers will continue to host the festival in March featuring artists from France and Germany, workshops at local schools, seminars on street arts, performances of music and hip hop, and a street ar festival.
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