An event organized by the ASEAN London Committee (ALC), the festival is taking place from April 22-27 at the School of Oriental and American Studies (SOAS) University of London, drawing interest from British and international audience.

A still cut from the Vietnamese film “Story of Pao" by Director Ngo Quang Hai

The festival will show films from 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Vietnam’s Story of Pao will be screened on April 26.

Vietnamese Deputy Ambassador to the U.K. To Minh Thu said the ASEAN Film Festival 2024 is a joint effort of the 10 ASEAN diplomatic missions in London, including the Vietnamese Embassy in the U.K., to promote the image of the countries, peoples, cultures and tourism of ASEAN in the U.K.

She said the Embassy of Vietnam in the U.K. and the Vietnam Film Institute under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, have jointly introduced at the festival Story of Pao, a film by director Ngo Quang Hai, which vividly portrays the life of people in the Northwestern region, their aspiration for beauty, freedom and happiness, through which the beauty of the country, people and culture of Vietnam is revealed.

Speaking to Vietnam News Agency (VNA) correspondent in the U.K. at the opening ceremony, Chair of the Festival Organizing Committee, Thai Ambassador to the U.K. Thani Thongphakdi said it is the second time ALC has organised the ASEAN Film Festival after the first in 2019. The festival is one of ALC’s activities to raise ASEAN's profile in the U.K., introducing the Association’s creative industry, raising more awareness about ASEAN among the people in the U.K. and promoting closer people-to-people links.

Ambassador Thongphakdi was delighted that all 10 member countries will be showing their very best films, which will highlight the strengths and creativity of their countries, bringing ASEAN closer to the U.K. public and showing them what the regional grouping has to offer.

Deputy Head of the South East Asia Department, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Julia Sutherland, told VNA correspondent in the U.K. that the event is a great initiative by the ASEAN embassies in London, given cultural diplomacy is a very important part of what embassies do. This is a great chance for the U.K. community to learn about ASEAN and its member countries through some great movies, she said, adding a lot of people, including herself, love going to see all films at this festival.

The opening ceremony was followed by the screening of Thailand’s film A time to fly. Films from other countries will be shown throughout the week.

Source: VNA