Diem Ha Le wins 2020 Whicker DocEdge Kolkata Bursary

Following a fantastic pitch at this year’s Docedge Kolkata, we are happy to announce that the 2020 winner of our Whicker Docedge Bursary Award is Diem Ha Le and her project Children of the Mist. Set in the North in her homeland of Vietnam, Diem’s film sheds new light on an unseen world and at its heart is a universal take on what it means to grow up. At the centre of the story is Di, a 13-year-old Hmong girl about to face the destiny of many teenage girls of her ethnic group: bride kidnapping. It is a film about the holy time of childhood and its disappearance.

Diem Ha Le was born in 1991 to the Tay community, an ethnic group in Northeast Vietnam. She left her hometown to study journalism in Hanoi and after joining a filmmaking workshop at TPD, a centre that supports young cinematic talents, she began to devote her time to making documentaries. Having directed two short films (My Son Goes to School and Beautiful Beds), Children of the Mist is Diem’s first feature endeavour.

A few words from the filmmaking team:

“We are thrilled to be awarded the Whicker Bursary at Doc Edge. It means we will be able to hire Nu, a talented young assistant editor from the Hmong ethnic minority. Now we can bring him from the remote northern borders of China to join the team in Hanoi for several months. Not only will Nu be invaluable in making sure our Hmong translations are completely accurate he will also help us better understand this very complex culture and the nuance of all that Diem is seeing through her lens. This will greatly enrich Children of The Mist and we are grateful.”