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Preview: Future Shorts Vietnam Returns

What are the connections that we consciously and unconsciously create among each other? How do the things we leave behind come back, without us knowing it, in our world? These are just few of the themes surfacing from the films selected for this week's Future Shorts.

I got a sneak preview of most of them and you are up for a surprising treat. The programme includes international and local short films.

If someone would have told me that I would have been mesmerised by a documentary about old folk Irish furniture restoration, I wouldn't have believed them. But that’s exactly what ‘Irish Folk Furniture’ by Tony Donoughue does. Winner for best animation short film at the Sundance Film Festival, it raises awareness of the devaluation of Irish folk furniture over the years, either due to their association with poverty or because the community and the council do not actively preserve their history. The documentary centers on interviews with five members of a small Irish community and follows sixteen furniture pieces that are repaired, restored and reintroduced to their original homes.

Sounds boring, right? It is not.

Donoughue makes the furniture move and walk; he created a heart-warming and witty animation that gives the furniture, their lives and their history a soul, without making them look cutesy.  

The next film is for anyone who loved Searching for Sugarman. In Pirate love Vol. 1, filmmaker Sara Gunnarsdottir investigates the impact and influence that the homonymous CD by the mysterious Daniel C had on the underground Icelandic music scene. Through some interviews, we learn that Daniel C was probably a Romanian immigrant and a truck driver who was deeply in love with a girl called Shelly, of whom no one knows the identity.

To show his feelings for her, he made an amateurish yet emotionally charged CD full of love songs and ballads. We are told that the CD was allegedly stolen from his locker and, through a series of coincidences, found its way to Iceland, where a group of Icelanders have been trying to solve the mystery behind it.

The story and the songs are not the only appealing aspects of Pirate of Love Vol. 1. Since there is no original footage or images about Daniel C and his story, Gunnarsdottir ingeniously combines the songs, the black and white Icelanders interviews with crazy animations, representing the songs and their creators. The images are constantly changing so that the audience doesn’t have a fixed image of Daniel C and his mystery is honestly preserved.

Through the power of Internet as well as a long festival run, there seems to be a new turn in the story. it seems that the real Daniel C has seen the film and has contacted the director, who is now currently working on Pirate of Love Vol. 2.

Hoa Rock is one of the films selected from the local programme. It tells the story of Hoa who, despite the opposition from his mother, is determined to follow his dream and become a musician in a rock band.

The story shows us how Hoa’s love for rock began, how hard he has worked to understand it and master his guitar skills as well as his constant battle in a society that tells you that money and a career are more important than fulfilling your soul.

Half way through the film, I thought I already knew how it would end, but I was wrong. There is a refreshing touch of cynicism in the ending that I have rarely seen in Vietnamese films.

Future Shorts Vietnam will be screened twice over the following two weeks.

(English and Vietnamese subtitles available)

Entrance fee: 60,000vnd, 30,000 - students (w/ID),FREE for filmmakers (must bring copy of work)


Saturday, 7 December


The Observatory | Le Lai & Ton That Tung, District 1


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