The city of Hanoi is set to celebrate its 1000th anniversary with the opening of Vietnam’s first international film festival in 2010.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism’s Cinema Department and co-organiser, Vietnam Media, announced the launch the Vietnam International Film Festival at Pusan last night.

The festival will run Oct 27-31, 2010 in the BDH-MPV Global mutiplex soon to be opened in Hanoi.

“We’re going to invite 50 to 60 feature films. We want to start out small but stable so that we can make sure to do things right and not try to grow too quickly,” said Ngo Thi Bich Hanh, vice president of sales & acquisitions at Vietnam Media.

The festival will have a feature competition section for Asian directors with a focus on South-East Asia, and competitions for shorts and documentaries. An international jury will select the best feature, short and documentary, while the audience will choose a favourite actor or actress.

“We will also have a Media Award with a distribution deal and free marketing with a PR campaign from VIFF’s TV and newspaper partners,” said Ngo.

The fest will also programme the Vietnam Cinema Today section – with recent features from Vietnamese directors, highlighting the country’s production trends; and a World Cinema Today section with an aim of keeping local audiences in tune to world cinema trends and encouraging cinephilia.

The Country In Focus section will showcase established directors from a chosen country each year, and the Tribute section will showcase films from a certain notable Vietnamese filmmaker, actor or actress.

The Surprise Section will be a section where the fest will create something different every year to give local audiences a surprise with films that are from the Special Jury, a special guest at VIFF, or on a unique topic.