Vietnam’s open-door policy, its socialist-oriented market economy, recent growth in cross-border education and skills mobility, regionalisation and globalisation have created an increasing demand for vietnamese graduates to develop not only their english language but also their intercultural competence. This paper discusses the issue of student intercultural learning and development in the vietnamese english as a foreign language (efl) class. Especially, it addresses the use of film as an innovative approach to engage vietnamese students in intercultural learning and development in the efl classroom. The study reported in this paper draws on rich sources of data which include in-depth interviews with students, student reflective journals and video-recorded class observations at a university in central vietnam. Overall, five key themes relating to student intercultural learning through film have been identified in this study. These include enhancing knowledge about cultural differences, engaging in cross-cultural comparison, breaking cultural stereotypes, immersing students in authentic learning and living in the world of ‘other’ culture and the integrated mode of intercultural language learning. The study is a significant contribution to scholarly research on the use of media objects to enhance student intercultural learning in language classrooms in developing countries. 2013 2013 Taylor & francis.