Connect with us


Việt Nam Film Week to be held at the Expo 2020 Dubai



HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam Film Week will take place at the Expo 2020 Dubai from December 30, 2021, to January 5, 2022, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

This is an event to celebrate Việt Nam Day (December 30) within the framework of the exhibition.

The film week is directed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and is implemented by Department of International Co-operation, Department of Cinema, Vietnam Association for Cinema Promotion and Development, Netflix, Inc. and some Vietnamese film enterprises.

The Expo 2020 Dubai Complex.  — Photo courtesy of Expo 2020 Dubai UAE

The main events of the film week include screenings of selected films of Vietnamese cinema, outdoor film screenings combining áo dài (traditional costumes of Việt Nam) and ethnic music performances, artist exchanges with audiences, visiting the Việt Nam Exhibition House for moviegoers, and visiting the EXPO complex for delegates and guests of the organising board.

Vietnam Film Week Expo 2020 Dubai aims to introduce to the international public the unique works of Vietnamese cinema; promoting the modernity and rich national identity of the Vietnamese film industry; creating opportunities to introduce, contact and exchange between artists, filmmakers and audiences, contributing to understanding the needs and opportunities of cooperation in the field of cinema with potential international partners.

The film week introduces the country and people of Việt Nam with diverse cultural features.

The Vietnamese cinema industry has made great strides in recent years.  — Photo courtesy of

This international event also promotes Việt Nam as a peace-loving, stable country with open policies, a safe, friendly tourist destination, rich in opportunities and potential for foreign investors; conveying the message that Việt Nam holds many opportunities for cooperation and development.

Films are shown at two main venues in the EXPO 2020 Dubai complex, including the Terra Auditorium with up to 200 seats and the Dubai Millennium Amphitheater with over 1,000 seats.

The opening ceremony of Film Week will take place on December 30, 2021.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the selection criteria are unique and humane films of Vietnamese cinema, produced within the last five years.

In addition, the selected film must also have content consistent with the general theme of Expo 2020 Dubai which is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.

Films shown at Expo 2020 should not have sensitive topics about politics, sovereignty, defence – security, religion; no content that conflicts with the cultural values, religion, lifestyle and laws of the UAE; and meet other specific criteria of the licensing authorities in the UAE.

The organisers will select 5-7 films which will be subtitled in English and Arabic to send for evaluation in the UAE.

The organisers also plan to invite two delegates who are directors/artists with films to attend Film Week and representatives of related associations.

The World Expo is a long-standing event that dates back to the 19th century and is considered one of the three biggest events on the planet, along with the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games.

About 200 countries and international organisations are expected to join the Expo 2020.

Held once every five years, this is the first-ever World Expo to be held in the Middle-East, Africa, and South Asia region since its inception in 1851.

This year, the activities of the Việt Nam Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will focus on the theme of “Việt Nam – Distilling the Past, Shaping the future”.



Tears of joy shed as Ho Chi Minh City university students hold wedding ceremony for disabled couples



A group of students from a university in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday night organized a wedding ceremony for handicapped couples who had got married many years ago but had been unable to have an official wedding ceremony.

The mass wedding ceremony was held by students from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City.

After being married for 20 years, Vo Nguyen Thi Thao, 48, residing in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City, finally had a chance to wear a wedding dress and hold the hand of her husband, Lam Tan Canh, as they walked down the aisle.

The couple makes ends meet by selling lottery tickets.

“I am extremely happy and content because I am able to wear a suit for the first time and see my wife in a wedding gown,” Canh emotionally said.

“My feeling is the same as it was 20 years ago.”

Nguyen Vu Son, 36, and his 33-year-old wife Nguyen Thi My Dung were also among the couples at the collective wedding ceremony.

They live in a boarding house in District 12.

Son uses a wheelchair while his wife walks with crutches.

The couple’s unstable incomes from lottery ticket sales and odd jobs have caused them to put off having a wedding reception for the past 12 years.

Holding his wife’s hand to enter the hall, Son smiled happily in tears, while the bride also cried happily.

“Finally, I can give the ring to my wife. The moment was sacred,” Son said.

Nguyen Thi Linh Phuong (first row, C) and her husband Huynh Minh Phung (first row, R), a couple at the special wedding ceremony, pose for a photo with their family members. Photo: Courtesy of organizer

Nguyen Thi Linh Phuong (C, first row) and her husband Huynh Minh Phung (R, first row), a couple at the special wedding ceremony, pose for a photo with their family members. Photo: Courtesy of the organizer

During the mass wedding ceremony, couples watered tree pots instead of pouring wine as per convention.

Each guest attending the ceremony was given a pack of seeds with a message of contributing to nurturing the happiness of the couples.

Ho Le Anh Nguyet, head of the organizing board of the wedding ceremony, shared that the packs of seeds symbolized the community’s wishes to the couples and were expected to grow and bloom.

A couple waters a tree pot at the wedding ceremony. Photo: Courtesy of organizer

A couple waters a tree pot at the wedding ceremony. Photo: Courtesy of organizer

They chose to hold the wedding ceremony for the disabled couples because, no matter what a person looks like, love is always beautiful and worth honoring.

They wanted to realize the dream of the disadvantaged.

Vo Van Anh, chairman of an association of handicapped people in Ho Chi Minh City, said the mass wedding coincided with the 31st anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, so it was more humane.

He hoped that similar ceremonies would be held in the future.

Like us on Facebook or  follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!


Continue Reading


Vietnamese descendant wins record $4.56mn in Netflix’s ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’



Mai Whelan, a 55-year-old woman of Vietnamese descent, recently emerged victorious in the inaugural season of streaming pioneer Netflix’s ‘Squid Game: The Challenge,’ securing a cash prize of US$4.56 million, the highest in reality TV history.

Following nine intense episodes, the reality competition unveiled its ultimate victor among 456 participants.

Whelan, who is currently residing in the U.S. state of Virginia, was named the winner in the final episode that aired on Wednesday.

A reality series adapted from the 2021 South Korean blockbuster drama ‘Squid Game,’ it engaged contestants in challenges reminiscent of the original, including the iconic Red Light, Green Light, and the nerve-wracking glass bridge. 

In addition, the show intensified the challenges by eliminating the contestants or offering advantages for each episode via other novel games and rules.

Outshining 453 other competitors, three finalists — Whelan No. 287, Phill Cain No. 451, and Sam Lantz No. 016 — featured in the program’s concluding episode, engaging in two final games of chance to determine the fortunate winner. 

Eventually, Mai emerged as the lucky one, consistently triumphing in different rounds to secure the key to open the coveted prize vault containing the record-breaking prize of $4.56 million.

A scene from the Season 1 of the Netflix reality competition show ‘Squid Game: The Challenge.’ Photo: Netflix

A scene from the Season 1 of the Netflix reality competition show ‘Squid Game: The Challenge.’ Photo: Netflix

“It was a relief to go back to normal life and not worry about getting eliminated,” Whelan told Netflix’s official companion site Tudum

“I needed that after two and a half weeks of intense go, go, go, and emotional ups and downs.

“But the person that came into [the competition] is me. 

“I’m still Mai, and she hasn’t changed — except that I came out stronger.”

While winning is nice — life-changing, even — Mai is ultimately more concerned with just how far the $4.56 million could reach beyond her own backyard. 

Once she has done renovating at home, ideally including building a small dock for a boat, she is setting her sights elsewhere, according to Tudum

“My heart is with people, animals, and climate change,” she told Tudum about how she plans to spend her winnings.

Following the conclusion of the inaugural season, Studio Lambert, the producer of the show, has initiated casting for the next season, slated to air in 2024.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!


Continue Reading


Vietnamese choreographer Tan Loc introduces new contemporary ballet ‘Senzen’



A contemporary ballet that incorporates the harmonious fusion of traditional Vietnamese instruments and Japan’s Taiko drums, ‘Senzen’ marks the return of choreographer Nguyen Tan Loc and Arabesque Vietnam, a neo-classical and contemporary dance company, after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jointly organized by Arabesque Vietnam and performance art theater Saigon Concert, the gig is set for December 16 and 17 at the Municipal Theater, also known as the Saigon Opera House, in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City.

During a briefing for ‘Senzen,’ Tan Loc, the art director of the show, reflected on his past experience as an international student in Japan nearly 30 years ago, his sentiments about his profession, and the challenges he faced during the pandemic.

“After the struggle between life and death, I’ve gained an appreciation for what I have, cherishing every encounter and every opportunity to pursue my passion,” Loc said.

“A dancer must practice every day to keep in form.

“Amidst chaos, maintaining calm is essential to excel in your pursuits.”

Choreographer Tan Loc speaks at a press briefing at the Saigon Opera House in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 1, 2023. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Choreographer Tan Loc speaks at a press briefing at the Saigon Opera House in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, December 1, 2023. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Those inner reflections served as inspiration for him and his colleagues to create the contemporary ballet ‘Senzen’ in celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan.

The play’s title unveils themes shared by Japanese and Vietnamese cultures, where ‘sen’ symbolizes the lotus flower and ‘zen’ represents meditation.

The piece is likened to a voyage of exploring the philosophy of mindfulness, offering each individual the chance to observe and understand themselves.

The performance is meticulously curated, from stage design and lighting to the serene fusion of timpani, Japanese drums, and traditional Vietnamese musical instruments.

It involves a modest cast of seven to eight dancers but has demanded the dedication of a crew of nearly a hundred over the past six months. 

Among them are those who tirelessly commute between Vietnam and foreign countries, working both online and offline, such as choreographer Ngoc Anh.

Kensaku Satou of Japan shows his mastery with Taiko drums. Photo: Koshizuka Mitsuki

Kensaku Satou of Japan shows his mastery of Taiko drums. Photo: Koshizuka Mitsuki

The ballet will also feature the renowned Japanese drum master Kensaku Satou, who performed in prestigious events such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony, FIFA World Cup editions, and various international programs.

This will mark his debut in Vietnam. 

In a video message, the artist conveyed his enthusiasm and anticipation for a harmonious performance, blending Arabesque Vietnam dancers with the energetic rhythm of Japanese Taiko drums, for the Vietnamese audience.

A performance for contemporary dance lovers

Giving details on ‘Senzen,’ Tan Loc recalled his beginning as a Vietnamese student in Japan in 1994, where he received immense support from his Japanese friends, shaping him into the person he is today. 

Tan Loc also shared a special connection with dancer Chika Tatsumi, whom he met when she was just seven years old. 

Now grown up, Chika has stayed in Vietnam to dance for Arabesque Vietnam. 

Dancer Chika Tatsumi performs the contemporary ballet ‘Senzen.’ Photo: DaiNgoStudio

Dancer Chika Tatsumi performs the contemporary ballet ‘Senzen.’ Photo: DaiNgoStudio

The choreographer said he and his dancers, each with their unique ties to the play, have faced various challenges, including anticipated financial losses for the two upcoming performance nights. 

Despite the difficulties, Tan Loc and his colleagues continue to exert their utmost effort in ‘Senzen,’ envisioning it as a cultural and artistic bridge fostering the emotional connection between the peoples of Vietnam and Japan. 

Tan Loc also expects the play to bring harmony and empathy, not only to the artists involved but also the audience. 

While Loc expressed concerns about the selectivity of contemporary dance and the potential deterrent of the meditation theme for younger audiences, the first two premieres of ‘Senzen’ have surprisingly attracted interest from many young individuals in Generation Z and enthusiastic engagement from young TikTokers.

Dancers perform the contemporary ballet ‘Senzen.’ Photo: DaiNgoStudio

Dancers perform the contemporary ballet ‘Senzen.’ Photo: DaiNgoStudio

Looking ahead to 2024, Arabesque Vietnam has received orders from Saigon Concert for works for teenagers and children, the two age groups often overlooked in artistic endeavors.

Tan Loc emphasizes that the dance company’s approach will always be distinct.

“We strive to maintain our artistic identity in the eyes of the audience,” the artist stated. 

He confides that despite being questioned multiple times about the challenges and losses associated with their artistic pursuits, he persists because he believes in the transformative power of art. 

Arabesque Vietnam has contributed to the community by organizing numerous gratis shows for students in Ho Chi Minh City. 

One of those students, inspired by one of his plays, developed a deeper love for his hometown in Vietnam’s central region and dedicated themself to studying to contribute to the homeland.

Dancer Vu Minh Thu performs the contemporary ballet ‘Senzen.’ Photo: DaiNgoStudio

Dancer Vu Minh Thu performs the contemporary ballet ‘Senzen.’ Photo: DaiNgoStudio

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!


Continue Reading