ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Asian Network of Documentary(AND) Fund

2019 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

LIST Children of the Mist
Category BIFF Mecenat Fund
Project Children of the Mist
Director HA LE Diem
Country Vietnam
Director's Profile HA Le Diem was born in 1991 in an ethnic minority group of Northeast Vietnam. She left her hometown to study journalism at the University of Social Sciences in Hanoi, from where she graduated in 2013. Children of the Mist is her first feature documentary film project.
Di is a 13-year-old girl living in a Hmong ethnic minority village of North Vietnam. She dreams of entering high school but she must convince her parents that studying is not a waste of time and money. In her community, marriage is linked to a controversial tradition: when a boy is interested in a girl, he organises her kidnapping. This process sometimes turns pretty dangerous and dark. Di fears to be kidnapped: getting married so young would mark the end of her dream to see what is beyond the mountains surrounding the village.
Director's Note
Two years ago, I taught a workshop in a region hosting Hmong minorities. Observing the young girls playing in the foggy landscapes, I felt like I was looking at my own reflection in a mirror with 15 years of distance. I became very close to Di, a 13-year-old girl, who gave me access to the whole community. She became like a younger sister, sharing with me all her hopes and fears. This is how I came up with the idea to make a film about the holy time of childhood and its disappearance. We decided to document this major step in her life which will determine her whole future.
2021 IDFA - Award for Best Directing, IDFA Best First Feature Special Mention
2022 Cinema du Reel - Clarens Prize for Humanist Documentary Filmmaking
2022 Visions du Reel - Perception Change Project Award
2022 Seattle International Film Festival
2022 Las Palmas De Gran Canaria International Film Festival - Jury′s Special Mention
2022 San Francisco International Film Festival - GGA Docs Competition
2022 Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF) - Next Generation Award
2022 Sydney Film Festival
2022 Edinburgh International Film Festival
2022 Melbourne International Film Festival
2022 Hong Kong International Film Festivel - Documentary Competition
2022 DMZ International Film Festival - International Competition
2023 EBS International Documentary Film Festival
Still Cut