Ho Chi Minh City International Film Festival

Source: HIFF

Ho Chi Minh City International Film Festival launch

Vietnam is set to host the first ever Ho Chi Minh City International Film Festival (HIFF) from April 6-13, 2024.

The festival will aim to promote the local film industry while positioning HCM City, the country’s economic hub, as a “film city” in which to invest. It will be hosted by the People’s Committee of HCM City and organised by the Department of Culture and Sports of HCM City.

HIFF is designed to be a large-scale festival, with a red-carpet opening gala and an awards ceremony on closing night at the Saigon Opera House. Further activities are set to include a content and cinema expo, seminars and masterclasses.

During its launch at Lotte Saigon Hotel on September 20, Korean actor Song Kang-ho and his Cobweb cast made an online appearance, congratulating the inaugural event.

HIFF’s advisory board includes Kim Dong Ho, founder and former chairman of the Busan International Film Festival; Jay Choi, former chairman of Warner Bros. Korea and CEO of Korea-based Anthology Studios, the production company behind Cobweb; Jeremy Segay, Hanoi-based regional audiovisual attaché for the Embassy of France; and renowned Vietnamese directors Phan Dang Di and Charlie Nguyen among others.

“We hope [HIFF] will connect producers, performers, and audiences everywhere to cinema,” said Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, deputy director of the Department of Culture and Sports of HCM City.

“We also hope it will be a showcase of quality and creative Vietnamese cinema works, thus affirming Vietnam’s place on the world cinema map.”

The festival will also be a platform to showcase HCM City to the world, serving as “a venue for residents and visitors to enjoy good movies, activities and services” and “an ideal destination for culture and investment”, added Thuy.

HIFF is supported by the Cinema Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Cinema Council of HCM City, HCM City Television, HCM City Contemporary Performing Arts Centre and VietFest. The city’s major cinemas – CGV, BHD, Galaxy, Lotte Cinema and Cinestar – have been set as screening partners.

In May, the Danang Asian Film Festival (DANAFF) became the country’s first film festival organised regionally, following the revision of the cinema law, which allowed provinces and cities to host their own events, rather than just on the national level like the Hanoi International Film Festival.

The Vietnamese film industry is riding a wave of recent successes that include international awards with titles such as Children Of The Mist and Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell, as well as an increase in local box office with features including The House Of No Man and Face Off 6: The Ticket Of Destiny.