Vietnam dioxin story wins best documentary at New York film fest

VietNamNet Bridge – A film about the daily lives of Vietnamese Agent Orange victims in Ho Chi Minh City has won the top prize for documentaries at the New York City International Film Festival.

New York film fest, Vietnam dioxin story, young adults

“The Tale of An Phuc House” by Bulgarian director Ivan Tankushev beat out four other entries to win Best Feature Documentary at the fourth annual edition of the film fest, according to Thanh Nien daily.

Tankushev, known for his work on animation shows such as “Arthur” and “Family Guy,” also wrote the script.

The documentary, which was produced by Canadia's Babel Entertainment and Vietnam's Créa TV, was filmed in Vietnam between late 2011 and March of this year.

The 91-minute film depicts the life of Mr. Quang and the 20 young adults under his care at An Phuc House, which he founded in 2006 to provide a home and create jobs for victims of the chemical warfare used by the US during the war in Vietnam.

An Phuc means “peace and happiness” in Vietnamese.

Despite their physical limitations, the young victims’ lives are full of love, dignity and pride, according to a post by the festival website.

The 54-year-old director, who is married to a Vietnamese woman, said he would donate all proceeds from the film to An Phuc and orphanages in Ho Chi Minh City.

“The Tale of An Phuc House” premiered on June 17 during the festival and resulted in promises from many attendees to financially support its protagonists.

The US Army sprayed nearly 80 million liters of herbicides and defoliants containing 366 kilograms of the highly toxic chemical dioxin over 30,000 square miles of southern Vietnam between 1961 and 1971.

Up to 4-8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to dioxin, according to the Vietnam Red Cross.

Many of the victims have died, but their descendants are still being born with deformities and diseases.

The Vietnam Red Cross estimates that up to one million Vietnamese people are disabled or have health problems due to Agent Orange.

Experts have also identified at least 28 dioxin-contaminated hotspots within the country that need clearance.

Source: Vietnam Plus

New York film fest, Vietnam dioxin story, young adults