“We often have two types of queer film in Vietnam. First of all, they make queer people look funny. And the second type is that they make them look miserable. I want them to see how queer people in real life are.”
Bảo Châu Nguyễn is just 19 years old, but back in April he made history by bringing Vietnam’s first queer film festival to life. Hanoi International Queer Film Week (HIQFW) took place over a few short days in the country’s capital, organised by a team of volunteers and led by Nguyễn as festival director, with support from consulates, NGOs and local businesses.
This year’s theme was Pride Journey, with 23 films exploring queer people’s pathS from discovery to acceptance, and eventually pride in their identity. The event was a success, but not without challenge, particularly in terms of satisfying the authorities.
“We’ve been through every single struggle,” Nguyễn explains. But he is optimistic about the future. “I didn’t think about what I can achieve, I just thought about what I can bring to the audience. They can see that LGBT people are just people. Straight or gay is not different. Love is love, and they can see love on the screen. They can see hope on the screen.”
Check out CINEMQ’s full video interview with Bảo Châu Nguyễn, and learn more about the festival at facebook.com/HIQFF
Interview: Fan Popo
Editing: Matthew Baren & Will Dai
Translation: Annabel Lee & Will Dai
Images are from the internet.
CINEMQ is a queer short film screening + party series. It is run by a group of queers with too much on their mind to sit still for long. We’re publishing articles on queer cinema and screen culture every week. Want to contribute? Message our account.