IDFA Best Director Winner Ha Le Diem Witnesses Bride Kidnapping in ‘Children of the Mist’

IDFA Best Director Winner Ha Le Diem Witnesses Bride Kidnapping in ‘Children of the Mist’
Set in the north of her homeland, Vietnam, Ha Le Diem’s “Children of the Mist” – which won the IDFA Award for Best Directing in the International Competition on Thursday – follows 12-year-old Di from the Hmong ethnic minority, living in the mountains and isolated from the rest of the population. Although she would like to study, the widespread custom of “bride kidnapping” on the Lunar New Year celebration could alter her future forever. The film, produced by Swann Dubus for Varan Vietnam and Trần Phương Thảo, is sold internationally by Cat&Docs.

“When I was a child, I was friends with these three girls. One of them got married off very young, which upset me a lot,” says the helmer, born in 1991. Coming from the Tay community herself, Diễm was introduced to Hmong traditions at the university, deciding to follow her protagonist despite not knowing the language.

“I saw her play
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