Southern Fruit Festival
The 2011 Southern Fruit Festival in Suoi Tien offers visitors an opportunity to taste Viet Namâs delicious fruits.
Over 70 boats transform the area into a floating market, with 45 kinds of fruit on show. Special fruits from the southern region such as Nam Roi pomelos, Hoa Loc mangos and Go Cong watermelons are all available at the market for three months over the summer.
A variety of activities including competitions for the most delicious fruit, a parade, music performances and games are all helping visitors discover a rich variety of produce from the south.
The festival will end on June 6.
Vietnam Architecture Exhibition opens in HCM City
Around 100 businesses involved in architecture, construction materials, technology and real estate from more than 20 countries and territories took part in the 3rd Vietnam Architecture Exhibition (VietArc 2001) in Ho Chi Minh City on June 1.
The focus was on a 330m2 area called Common House for Vietnamese Architects where all works that won prizes of National Architecture Awards 2010 were on display.
Chau My Anh, Vice President of the Ho Chi Minh Association of Architects, said the event showed the architectsâ contributions to developing the cityâs construction industry and provided visitors with a window into many new, fascinating architectural projects.
As part of the exhibition the HAA held an awards ceremony for best colour designs by architects, designers, painters and students.
TV show to track down missing martyrs, families
Vietnam Televisionâs VTV1 channel will launch an interactive show in December to locate, identify, and document Vietnamese soldiers missing during the liberation wars against the French and Americans.
âBack from memoryâ will solicit information from veterans about their comrades through the number (08) 62605555 which comes into existence today.
They can show the spot where they buried comrades or speak about incidents and their memories of missing soldiers.
Each 45-minute show will include sections called âTra lai ten cho anhâ (Bring his name back), â(Tim than nhanâ (Look for relatives), and âKy uc dong doiâ (Comradesâ memories).
The show is expected to be broadcast once a month.
Though the last war — against the Americans — ended more than 30 years ago, there is still little information about the fate of thousands of martyrs or their remains.
The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs estimates there are still 318,953 martyrsâ tombs without names and 237,297 missing soldiers.
Vietnam-French director to judge international film festival
Vietnamese-French filmmaker Tran Anh Hung will sit the panel at the 2011 Sanghai International Film Festival which opens in Chinaâs southern Shanghai city later this month.
Now in its 14th year, the festival has grown from an annual local event founded in 1993 to an A-category international film festival recognized by the prestigious International Federation of Film Producers Associations.
A total of 1,519 film entries from 102 countries have been sent to win Golden Goblets, which breaks last yearâs record.
Fifty films from 27 countries have made their way to the final round, where winners of 9 awards will be named, including best director, best creative, drama, comedy, action, animation films, and best documentary.
10 films have also been chosen to compete for the peoplesâ choice award.
To attract more attendance, organizers will screen recent award-winning and nominated movies, from the Coen brothersâ 2011 âTrue Gritâ, Danny Boyleâs adventure and drama â127 hoursâ to 2011 Oscarâs Best Foreign Language Film âIn a better worldâ by Danish director Susanne Bier.
Besides Tran Anh Hung, the jury panel this year consists of American director Barry Levinson, the jury president, British screenwriter Christopher Hampton, Japanese director Yoichi Sai, Spanish actress Paz Vega, Chinese director Wang Quanan, and Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu.
Tran Anh Hung rose to fame after âThe Scent of Green Papayaâ (1993), his Oscar-nominated debut (for Best foreign film) won two top prizes at Cannes Film Festival.
His second work, âCycloâ (1995) featuring top Hong Kong movie star Tony Leung Chiu Wai, also claimed the top-notch Golden Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival.
His two most recent works include the noir psychological thriller I Come with the Rain (2009) starring a star-studded international cast like Josh Hartnett and Elias Koteas and an adaptation of Haruki Murakamiâs novel Norwegian Wood released last year.
Shanghai International Film Festival will last 8 days from June 11-19.
Photo book to capture beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake
A coffee-table book featuring photos of Hanoiâs Hoan Kiem Lake shot by photographer Quang Phung will be published this month in Vietnamese and English.
âAround Hoan Kiem Lake and beyondâ will have 112 pages and around 100 photos taken since 2000.
It will be in three parts.
The first, âSu tinh lang va ve dep troi choâ (The God given quietness and beauty), will depict the natural beauty of the lake.
âNhung cau chuyen xa hoiâ (Social stories) will showcase the lake as a small society with ups and downs in the lives of people living around it.
The last part, âTu duong thien tamâ (For the human soulâs self â improvement), will be a comprehensive introduction to the process of making traditional lotus tea at the Phung Thanh Pagoda on Kham Thien Street.
The book will also have portraits of Vietnamese personalities such as the legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap, composer Van Cao, painter Tran Van Can, and writer Nguyen Tuan from the 1970s.
It will be published by the Hanoi âbased Cultural and Information Publishing House and sponsored by the Netherlands-based Prince Claus Fund and the East West Foundation.
Phung was born in 1932 in what was then Ha Dong District in Hanoi. He began shooting photos in 1954 and released his first collection on the capital cityâs liberation in 1955.
Since 1970 he has only shot pictures of Hanoi.
In 1990 his âCloudy Hairâ won the first prize at the National Artistic Photography Contest.
Soprano, pianist to mark Italian National Day
Well-known Italian soprano Paola Stafficci and pianist Stefano Ragni will perform at the Hanoi Opera House Thursday to mark Italian National Day.
Their âModernity and tradition of the Italian musicâ concert, organized by the Italian embassy in Vietnam, will feature classics by famous Italian composers like Ludovico Einaudi, Ennio Morricone, and Stefano Bracci.
Tickets costing VND300,000 (US$15) to VND500,000 are available at the Opera House, 1 Trang Tien.
The day before, the two artists will meet with students at Thang Long University to introduce Italian classical music.
Ragni, who has a degree in philosophy, has performed in many countries in Europe and Latin America.
He has also been as a critic for the last 20 years and written several books, his most famous being the âCourse of History of Musicâ for Italian students.
Stafficci studied at the Conservatory of Music F. Morlacchi in Perugia and graduated with the highest grades.
Since debuting in 1996 in the operas âToscaâ and âAidaâ in Odessa, Ukraine, Stafficci has played some key roles in opera, receiving huge appreciation from both audiences and critics.
Pay TV network K+ slashes fees on poor sales
Pay satellite TV network K+ on Tuesday announced hefty price cuts to improve its competitiveness as it has attracted far less subscribers than expected since its debut around two years ago.
Vietnam Satellite Digital Television (VSTV), the operator of the premium TV network, has now signed contracts with about 200,000 subscribers nationwide while the minimum number that makes K+ profitable is 500,000, said VSTV general director Cao Van Liet.
Liet described the price reduction as a tough yet important decision, saying the move would help the company grasp a bigger market share by making K+ services more price competitive and accessible to every family.
VSTV now offers three affordable TV service packages, one of them up to 50% lower in prices than previously.
The joint venture between Vietnam Cable Television and French firm Canal+ formerly had four packages at a monthly fee of VND50,000, VND100,000, VND250,000 and VND330,000, which are considered not as competitive as other networks.
SCTV â a long-established rival that claims on its website it has over one million subscribers nationwide â applies a universal fee of VND88,000 a month for more than 70 analog channels and over 90 digital channels including six HD ones. SCTV is a joint venture between Vietnam Television and Saigontourist.
K+ has now redesigned its service packages into three â Access+ with 58 SD channels and a monthly fee of VND50,000, down by half compared to the previous similar package, Premium+ with 72 SD channels and a monthly fee of VND190,000, down from VND250,000, and HD+ with 72 SD channels and eight HD channels, and a fee of VND270,000.
The subscription fee cuts allow K+ to extend its reach to more provinces where TV cables are not available. Access+ package is seen as a major contender to win customers in out-of-the provinces.
Liet said in a statement, âI do believe the price downward adjustments will benefit both the customer and K+. More people, especially those in rural areas, will have the opportunity to gain access to pay TV services.â
Statistics from the Ministry of Information and Communications show there are currently 2.5 million pay TV subscribers nationwide, accounting for around one-tenth of the countryâs households.
Duoi bong cay is YouTube sensation
A Vietnamese 3D animation movie is a YouTube sensation earning over 300,000 hits after just one week.
âDuoi bong cayâ (In the shade of the tree) has received a lot of positive feedback and is the work of a group of talented young local students who have formed the Colory Animation Studio.
Itâs great news for the local animation industry which has been virtually non-existent in recent years.
The movie, which is seven minutes long, is a comedy featuring four lead characters: Mouse, Toad, Crab and Snake. Based in the forest, Mouse is boasting to Crab and Toad about how he is scared of no animals, even snakes. But when Snake appears and snatches Toad, Mouse has to overcome his fear to save his friend and not lose face.
âItâs the first time Iâve seen such a well-made and professional Vietnamese cartoon. I really love this movie, the characters and dubbed voices are very cute,â Nguyen Hoang Nhu Phuong, an executive of a HCMC-based import and export company, said.
Doan Tran Anh Tuan, the boss of Colory, said it took his group four and a half months to complete their first work. âThanks to our families, we made it,â Tuan added. The group has no sponsorship or investment; they have to receive small advertising projects to support their desire to create animation.
âBecause we do not have enough proper equipment, some background scenes are still limited,â Nguyen Hoa Thanh, of Colory, said.
âEven if our animation projects are not sponsored, we will still try our best to make other cartoons for children,â Tuan added.
Do Dang Thuong, who won best screenplay and best editor at the online short films fest YxineFF last year, told the Daily that âDuoi bong cayâ was a breath of fresh air compared to recent Vietnamese animation.
He said: âI am so impressed by the Colory teamâs movie due to the close and bright dialogue between the characters. Dialogue in many Vietnamese cartoons is far away from reality and makes no sense. I appreciate Colory and their team spirit.â
Phan Gia Nhat Linh, a member of the executive board of YxineFF 2011, said if he was an examiner of this yearâs film festival, he would vote for âDuoi bong cayâ.
To watch âDuoi bong cayâ or Coloryâs other shorts clips, readers can access on Youtube at .
National childrenâs painting exhibition opens
The National Childrenâs Painting Exhibition opened in Hanoi on May 31 to mark the International Childrenâs Day, June 1.
The exhibition displays 299 paintings selected from more than 20,000 entries sent to a childrenâs painting contests for children nationwide.
The paintings, featured in various genres of pastel, watercolour and torn paper, show the childrenâs love for Uncle Ho, their family, teachers and friends, as well as their dreams for a bright future.
Seventy best works were given awards including 10 gold, 15 silver, 20 bronze and 25 consolation prizes.
The event is under a project on âVietnamese Childrenâs Fine Arts Awardsâ co-organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.
The exhibition will run until June 6 at 29 Hang Bai street.