The story of Mr. Van, a poor farmer without a father, without a home, who is possessed by a ghost. For Van to reclaim his body, his family must make the ultimate sacrifice.
Van, a resin harvester, lives with his wife and two children in his younger, half-brother′s old house. One day, the younger brother decides to tear down the house and build a new one. With nowhere to live, Van and his family wander, until the villagers show them an abandoned house. To support the family, Van takes various jobs, while his wife, Ha, herds cows for a calf as payment. During a fishing trip, Van catches some human remains and loses consciousness. The ghost of the dead person yearns to find its family, possesses Van, and takes him on a journey, with Ha accompanying to protect him. In the middle of a field, the ghost brings Ha into its memories, revealing it was a 17-year-old girl who died far from home. Ha seeks out Van′s mother to learn about his ancestors and build an altar, but the mother can offer little help. Witnessing Van′s misery, she sacrifices herself in the river to save her son. In the astral realm, Van encounters important memories. Only when his mother′s spirit arrives, can the family reunite. Van′s parents push him back to Earth while they follow the river of light, two souls in one body. The ghost requests a house and identity in exchange for the return of Van′s body. Ha sells her calf to buy a burial plot, using Van′s family name for the ghost. After the shaman performs the ceremony, Van is returned to his body, his family moves to another abandoned house, and they begin a new life.
My idea for this film is based on the true story of Mr. Van, who lives in an abandoned house in Thieu Giao village. The relationship between a person and their surroundings has always fascinated me. In Vietnamese culture, a stable home is believed to be the foundation for a successful career. Houses are not just for living, they also serve as a place for the deceased to reunite with their families, protected by divine blessings from the gods. Through the distinct language of both feature and documentary film, the movie aims to explore the spiritual aspects of Vietnamese culture. It also addresses contemporary issues such as urbanization, migration, and the special bond humans have with their surroundings, particularly their homes.
Mr. Van is a poignant and moving tale that explores the essence of family, identity, and the unbreakable bonds that tie us together. Set in the stunning landscapes of Vietnam, the film is a cinematic tapestry weaving together themes of love, sacrifice, and the indomitable spirit of the human soul. This story is a labor of love, driven by a profound desire to create a meaningful cinematic experience which will transcend borders and deeply connect with audiences. Collaborating with the talented director, Kim Quy Bui, has been a privilege, and together, we are committed to creating a captivating and thought-provoking film that resonates with audiences worldwide. We aim to forge valuable partnerships with co-producers, distributors, and investors, all of whom share a passion for impactful storytelling.
Kim Quy Bui is a Vietnamese writer and director. Her first feature, The Inseminator (2014), was supported by the Asian Cinema Fund for post-production. It was screened at Busan International Film Festival 2014, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015, Locarno Film Festival 2021 and won Best Photography at ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards 2015. Her second film, Memoryland (2021), received support from the Script Development Fund at Asian Cinema Fund 2016 and was chosen for the Berlinale Talents Project Market 2017. The film premiered at Busan International Film Festival 2021 in the New Currents competition, was invited to Berlin International Film Festival - Forum 2022, and won the Golden Lady Harimaguada award at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival 2022. Currently, Bui works as a lecturer at the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema.
Nguyen Mai is a Vietnamese-German film producer. Her works include The Inseminator (Kim Quy Bui, 2014), screened at Busan International Film Festival 2014, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015, and Locarno Film Festival 2021; and Memoryland (Kim Quy Bui, 2021), which screened at Busan International Film Festival 2021, Berlin International Film Festival - Forum 2022, and won the Golden Lady Harimaguada award at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival 2022. She is head of international co-production at CineHanoi and producer at A Company Film based in Munich.
Nguyen Hong Quan is a Vietnamese director-producer. From 2016 to 2018, he received a full scholarship to study the DOC NOMADS EMJMD master’s program in documentary filmmaking in Hungary, Portugal, and Belgium. He is currently a lecturer at the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema and producing his first feature-length film, Mr. Van.
CineHanoi is a Vietnamese film production company focused on quality storytelling and striking, impressive visuals. The combined experience of the in-house team covers award-winning feature films, commercials, live events, and new media content. With the advantage of offering professional equipment rentals for motion picture and television production, we are both a production house and a cost-effective service provider for our domestic and international partners.