Director Phan Dang Di’s “Bi, Don’t Be Afraid” won two of the International Critics Week’s prizes at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. The prize winners were announced on May 20 (local time).

The movie about a family in Hanoi through the eyes of Bi, a 6-year-old boy (played by Phan Thanh Minh), was presented the SACD Prize for best screenplay and the ACID/CCAS Prize that helps the film to be distributed.

International Critics Week founded in 1962, is the oldest parallel competitive section of the Cannes Film Festival. It showcases first and second feature films by directors from all over the world and has remained true to its tradition of discovering new talents. Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach, Wong Kar Wai, Jacques Audiard, Arnaud Desplechin, Gaspar Noé and François Ozon all started out at Critics’ Week.

The International Critics Week in Cannes presents very selective programming of only seven feature films and seven shorts films so that the films can get greater visibility. The Critics’ Week Grand Prix is awarded by the press (journalists and films critics are invited to vote after each screening of the selection). Feature films also run for the SACD Prize for best screenplay and the ACID Prize that helps the film to be distributed. Short films can receive the Canal+ Award for best short film and the Kodak Discovery Award. The first feature films also run for the Caméra d’Or.

This year, seven movies were selected for the International Critics Weeks category from over 900 movies.

The most important prize – Grand Prix – went to a documentary about the Afghanistan Armadillo war by Danish director Janus Metz.

The prize for the best short film, Canal+ Award, was presented to director Daniel Joseph Borgman’s Berik”, the prize of young critics to directors Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjaerne Nilsson’s “Sound of Noise” and the Kodak Discovery Award to Ariel Kleiman’s “Deeper than Yesterday”.

The draft of “Bi, don’t be afraid” won a $10,000 award at the Pusan Film Festival 2007 in South Korea. The complete script was sent to the Cannes Film Festival 2008’s L’atelier to seek opportunities to turn it into a movie. With $10,000 from the Vietnam movie development assistance project management board, Eur50,000 from the World Cinema Fund of the Berlin Film Fest, etc, director Phan Dang Di was able to produce the film.

The film was finalized in France. The Cannes Film Festival’s film selectors watched the incomplete version in France and felt very convinced.

Source: Tuoi Tre & VietNamNet

Some quick scenes extracted from the movie by IsabelleBuron.

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