Documentary to be screened at US film festival

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‘One Year on: The Essex Lorry Tragedy’ has been recognised at 16 film festivals around the world.

India, Bhutan, Singapore, and now the US. A documentary produced by Việt Nam News is receiving acclaim on a global scale.

One Year on: The Essex Lorry Tragedy was written and produced by the multimedia team at Việt Nam News.

After winning awards at numerous international film festivals in Asia, it has now been officially selected to be screened at an annual movie event in Pennsylvania.

The 2021 Erie International Film Festival takes place over nine days from December 10.

It will feature around 60 independent movies, documentaries, animation productions and music videos.

One Year on: The Essex Lorry Tragedy was made to mark the first anniversary of the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants who were found in the back of a lorry container in Essex, UK.

Việt Nam News journalists Paul Kennedy and Hồ Hoàng travelled to Yên Thành District in the Central Việt Nam province of Nghệ An to a small community hit hard by the tragedy.

Even though only around 400 people live in the area, four families lost loved ones.

The documentary, which was screened on VNews TV to mark the anniversary of the tragedy, was first selected to be screened at the Pune Short Film Festival in India.

It was then chosen to be shown at festivals in Goa, Kerela, Shantiniketan and the Alibag Short Film Festival in Maharashtra, India.

Next, it was screened the Druk International Film Festival in Bhutan, the Virgin Spring Cinefest in India and the World Film Carnival in Singapore, where all chose the documentary as an award winning production in the Short Documentary category.

Further top prizes followed, winning accolades at the Gangtok International Film Festival, Luis Bunuel Memorial Awards, Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, West Bengal’s Royal Society of Television & Motion Picture Awards, Krimson Horyzon International Film Festival, Dreamz Catcher International Film Festival, and the Black Swan International Film Festival.

Executive producer, Paul Kennedy, said: “When we set out to make this documentary, the idea it would be screened at international film festivals could not have been further from my mind.

“We had such a small window from filming until the date of publication, which we wanted to coincide with the anniversary of the tragedy.

“All our thoughts and efforts were on ensuring the finished production would be informative, but at the same time, show the families who spoke to us in a sensitive and respectful manner.

“This was the first ever documentary produced by Việt Nam News and to receive such acclaim from the international film community is testament to the hard work and efforts of the staff in the multimedia department who did such a fantastic job.

“But really none of this would have been possible without the cooperation of not only the families we spoke to, but the authorities in Nghệ An who had to deal with such an unimaginable tragedy.

“The discovery of those poor people in the back of the lorry in October 2019 will never be forgotten and I am pleased to have been able to highlight their plight to the international community through our documentary.”

One Year on: The Essex Lorry Tragedy is available to watch exclusively in Việt Nam via Galaxy Play VNS

Việt Nam News journalist Hồ Hoàng interviews residents for the documentary ‘One Year on: The Essex Lorry Tragedy’. VNS Photo Paul Kennedy


Calcutta International Cult Film Festival: Winner

Luis Bunuel Memorial Awards: Winner

Gangtok International Film Festival: Winner

L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival: Winner

World Film Carnival: Winner

Virgin Spring Cinefest: Winner

Royal Society of Television & Motion Picture Awards: Winner

Krimson Horyzon International Film Festival: Winner

Druk International Film Festival: Winner

Dreamz Catcher International Film Festival: Winner

Black Swan International Film Festival: Winner

Pune Short Film Festival: Official selection

Kerela Short Film Festival: Official selection

Goa Short Film Festival: Official selection

Alibag Short Film Festival: Official selection

2021 Erie International Film Festival: Official selection

Asia South East-Short Film Festival: Special mention

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