After graduating from the Faculty of Screenwriting at Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema, Phan Dang Di worked at the Vietnam Cinema Department as a public servant for 6 years before quitting office to become an independent filmmaker. His vision was to establish a team of young directors to create a “new wave” in Vietnamese cinema.
Di made two short feature films: ‘When I am 20’ (2006) and ‘Lotus’ (2005). The former was the first Vietnamese film selected in competition at the 2008 Venice International Film Festival (IFF).
His long feature script entitled ‘Adrift’ was filmed by director Bui Thac Chuyen in 2007. The film won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2009 Venice IFF and was nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2010 Asia Film Award.
Di made ‘Bi, Don’t Be Afraid’, the first feature film in which Di worked as a producer, screenwriter, and director in 2009. The film won two prizes at Cannes Critic’s Week in 2010. It also won many other awards at various film festivals around the world such as Vancouver, Hongkong, and Stockholm.
Di’s second film ‘Big father, small father and other stories…’ was the first Vietnamese film selected to enter the Official Competition section at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival.
Recently, he completed ‘He serves fish, she eats flower’, an episode of a mini-series about Asian cuisine and flavors produced by HBO Asia.
Di was the producer of ‘Flapping in the middle of nowhere’, a feature directorial debut by Nguyen Hoang Diep. The film won the Critic Award at Critic’s Week, Venice IFF 2014. He also produced ‘Cu li Never cries’, a feature debut of Pham Ngoc Lan which was selected to present at Cannes L’Atelier 2017 as well as funded by the World Cinema Fund at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival. This film is in production process.
Besides his career as an independent filmmaker and producer, Di is also a teacher. He taught Film History, Screen-Writing, Directing at Hanoi National University and Ho Chi Minh National University. He founded Autumn Meeting, an annual international cinema event in Da Nang, Vietnam.