Czech Republic, Slovakia

Synopsis

After 15 years, Diana finds the letters her father used to send her. Will what she is going to read now mend her relationship with her dad? Will she forgive him for leaving their family? This story brings back childhood memories: carefree holidays and fun at the funfair to the rhythm of disco music, but also sadness and suffering. The author uses a collage of old letters, archival films and photographs as well as children’s drawings and cut-outs to recreate the past. Apart from the story of a Czech-Vietnamese family, this documentary animation touches upon the problem of socio-cultural differences.

Director's Statement

LOVE, DAD is an animated documentary about losing connection with my father and me trying to win it back. In the past, me and my dad were separated by prison bars, these days we are separated again, but emotionally this time.

When I was 11 years old, he wrote to me letters from prison that were full of love. I grew up, our relationship changed, and such acts of love seem to disappear. I am sorry for the distance between us. Now, 15 years later, I am answering to dad's letters from prison, addressing his deeds that made our family break up at the end and trying to understand him.

The film is built around voice-over presenting letters of both – me and my dad. The image plays with the material of the letters and those “tie-gap“ symbolics. It also reflects how I feel through the family history again. Through this film I am rediscovering dad‘s love for me.

Director's Biography

Diana Cam Van Nguyen is a Czech-Vietnamese director based in Prague, Czech Republic. Her short films have been selected at festivals like Locarno IFF, Toronto IFF, IFF Rotterdam or IDFA. APART (2018) was a finalist in the BAFTA Student Film Award 2019. Her latest short LOVE, DAD (2021) won BFI Short Film Award, Clermont-Ferrand Connexion Award and got a TIFF Special mention. It has been awarded for Best Animation and Best Documentary at the Academy Qualifying festivals AFI Fest and Seattle IFF. Diana is a graduate from FAMU. In her works she focuses on personal topics through the means of animated documentary. She is currently developing a hybrid feature.

FILMOGRAPHY:
2018 - APART, Short
2017 - THE LITTLE ONE, Short
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Diana Cam Van Nguyen

Written by: Lukáš Janičík, Diana Cam Van Nguyen

Main Producer: Karolina Davidova

Produced by: Tomáš Šimon, Jakub Viktorin

Cinematography: Matěj Piňos, Kryštof Melka

Editing: Lukáš Janičík

Production Design: Diana Cam Van Nguyen

Costume Design: Zuzana Formánková

Make-Up & Hair: Justýna Urbancová

Original Score: Viera Marinová

Sound: Viera Marinová

Visual Effects: David Štumpf

Animation: Diana Cam Van Nguyen, David Štumpf, Vojtech Domlátil

Cast: Linh Duong, Nhung Hong, Hoai Trung Le, Mimi Lan Nguyen Hoang

Nominations and Awards

  • European Short Film 2022
  • Short Film Candidates 2022