A Vietnamese film crew ©

© Vietnam Film Institute

Date: 15 January 2019
Venue: Screen 2, National Cinema Centre, 87 Lang Ha, Hanoi

Organised in conjunction with the Vietnam Film Institute, the symposium ‘Film as a Cultural Heritage’ brings together film practitioners from both public and private spheres. A highlight of the event will be a keynote on governmentally-run film archives in Vietnam, stemming from a recent research commissioned by the British Council and undertaken by the Vietnam Film Institute. Other presentations provide discourses and ideas on the sharing of film heritage in a community-based context. Informed by this mapping, the symposium explores future pathways for Vietnam’s film archives, as well as potential for collaboration between different sectors, and between Vietnamese and international organisations working in film archiving.



Screen 2, National Cinema Centre


Guests arrival and registration/Meet and greet


Le Thuan Uyen (Independent Curator) – Opening speech


Donna McGowan (Country Director, British Council in Vietnam) – Welcoming speech


Ngo Dang Tra My (Vice Director, Vietnam Film Institute) – Welcoming speech


Le Hong Lam (Independent Critic) - The Importance of Film Heritage




Le Tuan Anh (Deputy Head, Access and Dissemination, Vietnam Film Institute) – Current Archiving Efforts in Vietnam’s National Film Organisations




Tea break


Frank Gray (Director, Screen Archive South East) – From Archive to Community: Curating and Sharing Film Heritage in the UK




Shona Thomson (Curator and Founder, A Kind of Seeing) – Community Engagement via Archival Materials  




Panel discussion and Q&A – The Way Ahead for Vietnam’s Film Archives
Moderator: Phan Dang Di (Filmmaker)
Panelists: symposium  speakers plus delegates from various governmentally-run film archives


Phan Dang Di – Wrap-up

Speakers’ profiles

Le Tuan Anh

Le Tuan Anh
Deputy Head, Access and Dissemination Department, Vietnam Film Institute

Le Tuan Anh graduated from the Hanoi University of Theatre and Cinema in 2004 and has been working at the Vietnam Film Institute since 2005. He currently works as Vice Head of the Technical Depart of the Institute and is involved in processes such as archiving, digitising and restoring. Le has also been a member of the Technical Subcommittee for developing Vietnam’s National Standard in "Archiving Film Prints - Technical requirements and testing methods" (2015-2016), and a member of the Technical Subcommittee for developing the National Standard "Imaging materials - Processed safety photographic films – Storage practices" and "Imaging materials - Polyester-base magnetic tape – Storage practices" (2018-2019).

The Vietnam Film Institute currently manages three film archives at their Hanoi headquarters, Ho Chi Minh City, and Thach That (Hanoi). The Institute has in their storage a total of nearly 80 thousand prints of different formats (35mm and 16mm) and tens of thousands of videotapes, across a diverse range of titles that together paint a vivid picture of the cinema sector of both the North and the South over the past fifty years: feature films from Vietnam and other countries, footage documenting life during and after the war, works made in South Vietnam before 1975, footage of Ho Chi Minh and other wartime figures, collections of footage shot during the Indochina years returned by the Cinémathèque Française, amongst many other types of footage. 

Phan Dang Di

Phan Dang Di
Independent Filmmaker / Co-Founder and Co-Manager, Autumn Meeting Festival

After graduating from the Faculty of Screenwriting at Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema, Phan Dang Di started his career as an independent filmmaker.  His first two short features were Lotus (2005) and When I am 20 (2006), the latter of which, in 2008, becoming the first Vietnamese film that had been selected for the In Competition strand at Venice International Film Festival. His long-feature script for Bui Thac Chuyen’s Adrift also won the Fipresci Prize at Venice 2009.

Phan Dang Di’s first long-feature project Bi, Don’t Be Afraid – in which he worked as director, screenwriter and producer – was released in 2009. The film – funded by World Cinema Fund (Berlinale 2008), Fond Sud and Arte Cinema – went on to win the Busan Film Commission Award at the Pusan International Film Festival 2007, two prizes at the Cannes Critic’s Week 2010, amongst many other awards at various international film festivals (Vancouver, Hong Kong, Stockholm, etc.) Di’s second feature Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories had its World Premiere in the Official Competition strand at the Berlinale 2015. 

Beside his career as an independent film maker, Di has also taught Film History and Screenwriting at the Hanoi National University, and is part of the core team behind Autumn Meeting Festival, an annual cinema initiative established with the vision of engendering and supporting a ‘new wave’ of emerging Vietnamese filmmakers.

Frank Gray

Frank Gray
Director, Screen Archive South East (University of Brighton) and Co-Director, CineCity (the Brighton film festival)

Dr Frank Gray is an historian, curator, archive director and lecturer on all aspects of screen studies from the 19th Century to the present. Having uncovered the beginnings of cinema in Brighton & Hove, Dr. Gray curates exhibitions for Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and, with the Royal Pavilion & Museums, has built a major collection relating to the city’s film pioneers. He is involved in the national development of screen heritage policy and strategy, was formerly Chair of Film Archives UK, and has been associated with the University of Brighton for over thirty years. 

Screen Archive South East is a public sector screen archive serving the South East of England. Established in 1992 at the University of Brighton, this regional archive locates, collects, preserves, digitises and provides access to screen material related to the South East. The collection consists of magic lantern slides, film, videotape and digital formats. There are now over 14,000 films and some 10,000 19th Century lantern slides, as well as a significant collection of film apparatus including cameras and projectors. 

Cinecity is an annual film festival dedicated to world cinema. It features previews, programmes of screen heritage, curated gallery installations and special live cinema events with musicians and performers.

Le Hong Lam

Le Hong Lam
Independent Film Journalist and Critic

Born in 1977, Le Hong Lam graduated in Journalism at the Hanoi National University in 1999. Lam has had nearly 20 years of experience working as journalist, editor and editor-in-chief in the arts and culture. Lam currently works as a freelance film critic and journalist. To date he has authored five publications: Watching Letters Reading Images (literature and cinema interviews and criticism, 2005); Play with Structures (cinema criticism, 2011); Birds in the Wind (a collection of essays on cinema, 2016); The Dilemma of Being Human (a collection of essays on cinema, 2018); and 101 Best Vietnamese Films (a survey of Vietnamese cinema, 2018).

Shona Thomson

Shona Thomson
Curator and Founder, A Kind of Seeing

Based in Edinburgh (Scotland), Shona Thomson is an experienced independent creative producer and curator presenting live cinema events across the UK and internationally under the banner of A Kind of Seeing. Driven by a passion for connecting people and places with heritage, she collaborates with audiences, organisations, artists and communities through high profile touring and artist-led projects in all sorts of spaces across archive film exhibition, live music, and performance.

Shona has been producing and curating film events, festivals and tours for over 20 years, including a long association with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, new commissions for the Glasgow Film Festival, and producing the first five years of the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival, Scotland's only event dedicated to silent film with live performance.

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