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Documentary director wins “Bui Xuan Phai Award- For the Love of Hanoi”
Jenna Duong 11:01, 2022/10/08
Hanoi has appeared in the documentary films of director Tran Van Thuy with a quiet and ancient beauty that cannot be found anywhere else.

The renowned documentary director, Tran Van Thuy, has just received the Grand Prize of Bui Xuan Phai Award- For the Love of Hanoi 2022 for his outstanding documentaries-themed Hanoi. The award ceremony took place on October 6 in Hanoi.

The beauty of Hanoi through documentaries

Documentary director Tran Van Thuy (left) wins the Grand Prize of Bui Xuan Phai Award- For the Love of Hanoi 2022. Photo: VNA

Ha Noi trong mat ai” or “Hanoi Through Whose Eyes” is one of the most famous documentaries by director Tran Van Thuy. Made in 1982 but banned until 1987, the film starts with the image of Van Vuong, a blind guitarist born and raised in Hanoi. The artist desires to witness the city's beauty once in his life. The documentary uses historical figures and stories intertwined with the city's history to reflect its citizens’ views on society at the time.

Speaking at the awards ceremony held in Hanoi on October 6, Editor-in-Chief of Sports and Culture Newspaper - Head of the Award Organizing Committee Le Xuan Thanh praises the winner of the Grand Award 2022- documentary director Tran Van Thuy for his outstanding contributions to the development of Hanoi through famous films such as “Hanoi Through Whose Eyes” (1982), “The Story of Kindness or How to Behave” (1987), “The Sound of the Violin in My Lai” (1999), among others.

Renowned painter Bui Xuan Phai in the documentary entitled “Hanoi Through Whose Eyes?” by Tran Van Thuy

In the film by director Tran Van Thuy, the beauty of Hanoi is not only depicted through black and white footage capturing images of its old streets, solemn temples and iconic buildings.

The city is also famous for its elite citizens, such as blind guitarist Van Vuong and renowned painter Bui Xuan Phai. Besides, the films also show the desire for a better life for Hanoians after Doi Moi- the economic reform launched in Vietnam in 1986.

These scenes, which were shot 40 years ago, are still valuable and brought a lot of emotions from today’s viewers about Hanoi in the old days. Director Tran Van Thuy, 80, said he was highly emotional when receiving the award. “Although I was not born in Hanoi, I always loved the capital city. It’s not only me, but many other artists have the same feeling. Some of them even have not been to Hanoi yet, but still, be able to create wonderful works about the place.”

A Hanoi street in 1988. File Photo

Valuable contributions

For the category of “Works - For the Love of Hanoi”, the Organizing Committee awarded the book “Kim Hoang Folk Paintings” (World Publishing House) by Nguyen Thi Thu Hoa.

The book consists of three chapters, with 346 color illustrations, 24 references and citations. It provides a panoramic view of the origin of Kim Hoang folk paintings, the traditional way of producing the pictures, and the challenges in preserving and developing this traditional painting school in modern life.

Kim Hoang is a folk painting genre which originated in Kim Hoang village, Hoai Duc district, Hanoi, in the late 18th century. It became trendy in the early 19th century, but interest started fading after Kim Hoang village suffered a severe flood in 1915. The flood swept away the paintings' wood blocks, which was folk art's beginning and end. By 1945, no one in Kim Hoang village had made paintings.

A Kim Hoang folk painting. File photo

Kim Hoang paintings and their printing wood blocks were then seen only at the Vietnam Arts Museum and some collections of local and foreign painting collectors.

“The efforts of Dong Ho, Hang Trong, and Kim Hoang folk artists have resulted in a miracle. After 75 years of absence from the market, Kim Hoang's folk painting line has returned and stepped into the 21st century,” said the book's author.

The project has been implemented since 2016 with the participation of many artists, researchers, and collectors of Vietnamese folk paintings, as well as artists and photographers. After nearly six years, the book's inauguration was finally in early August.

The ongoing project of “Preservation, repair and anti-degradation of the manor at 49 Tran Hung Dao - 46 Hang Bai” was awarded “Actions - For the Love of Hanoi. The project is invested by the Management Board of Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi Old Quarter with technical support from the Ile-de-France region’s experts (France).

The 1000-sqm manor was built in the early 20th century and is considered one of the properties that still retain colonial architectural traits. The renovation, following the methods being applied in France, will serve as a model for restoring similar French-era buildings in Hanoi.

The 3D photo of the project of “Preservation, repair and anti-degradation of the manor at 49 Tran Hung Dao - 46 Hang Bai”. Photo: Hoan Kiem District People's Committee

“This is not just a construction renovation project. Through the new image of the building, we wish to show the visitors about the unique beauty of Hanoi where French architectures and ancient oriental architectural designs are interwoven interestingly in a single place,” said Emmanuel Cerise – representative of Ile-de-France region in Hanoi.

“Study on turning the alluvial islet in the Red River into a cultural park” was awarded the “Ideas - For the Love of Hanoi” Award. The project was initiated and will be co-implemented by the Hoan Kiem District People's Committee. The project aims to exploit the potential and advantages of the natural beauty of the Red River, making the place a new tourist attraction in Hanoi.

Bui Xuan Phai- For the Love of Hanoi Awards comprise four categories: “Grand Prize”, “Works- For the Love of Hanoi”, “Ideas - For the Love of Hanoi” and “Actions - For the Love of Hanoi”.

According to the awards organizing committee, there have been 41 nominations for the “Bui Xuan Phai Award- For the Love of Hanoi” in 2022, of which ten nominations were shortlisted for the final selection.

“Despite having many difficulties during the last 15 years, the award has still be maintained and enlarged. We have always wished to support and honor the kind deeds and actions of all citizens for the love of Hanoi,” Thanh said.

The award was initiated by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s Sports and Culture newspaper and the family of the late famous painter Bui Xuan Phai (1920-1988) in 2008 to honor his career and spread his love for the capital city.

Since 2008, “Bui Xuan Phai – For Love of Hanoi Awards” has become annual meaningful award honor artworks and deeds for the love of Hanoi, thus contributing to building locals’ cultural life.

On the occasion of the award ceremony, the photo and video clip contest winners entitled “The Hanoi Green” were also given to professional and amateur authors in Hanoi.

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