Monday, 01/04/2019 09:00

Vietnamese filmmakers urged to focus on art films

Action film Hai Phuong (Furie), released in Feburary, has been a success in both domestic and foreign markets. Photo courtesy of the producer
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY – State-owned and private film studios should work together to produce more art films, experts said at a seminar held last Friday (March 29) in HCM City.

The seminar, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the HCM City University of Theatre and Cinematography and their partners, discussed challenges faced by the country’s movie industry.

Tran Luan Kim, former general secretary of the Viet Nam Cinema Association, said that Viet Nam’s film industry had seen a rise of entertaining films by private studios in recent years, but lacked art films.

Kim said that state-owned studios should work with private filmmakers to make films with serious topics reflecting the country’s politics, society and people.

In 2012, the Viet Nam Feature Film Studio cooperated with the giant private filmmaker Galaxy Studio to produce Nhung Nguoi Viet Huyen Thoai (The Legend Makers), praising heroic soldiers who built petrol pipelines running from the north to southern battlefields during the war for national reunification.

The film won four Golden Lotus Awards at the National Film Festival in Quang Ninh Province in 2013, including best feature film, best screenplay, and best leading actor and actress.

A film about childhood, Toi Thay Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh (Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass), directed by Victor Vu, was successful in 2015.

Produced by Galaxy Film Studio, Phuong Nam Film and Saigon Concert Company (on a request made by the State’s Cinema Department), the film was a huge hit at the domestic box office, earning over VND80 billion (US$3.6 million).

Most seminar participants agreed with Kim, but emphasised the important role of private filmmakers in the film industry.

People’s Artist and director Dao Ba Son said the country film’s industry this year has had high revenues. “The industry is now dominated by private filmmakers. Fortunately, they have invested in making quality films with good scripts.

In previous years, the market was full of films with poor scripts, he said.

Do Lenh Tu Hung of the association said that private film studios were doing a good job, producing quality films such as Hai Phuong (Furie), Co Ba Sai Gon (The Tailor) and Song Lang.

Action film Hai Phuong, released on February 22, became Viet Nam’s highest grossing film which earned VND200 billion (US$8.6 million) at the box office.

The distribution label Well Go USA Entertainment released the film in Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, San Jose, Portland, Seattle and New York on March 1.

Netflix said it would buy the copyright for the film after its successful premiere in the US. The film will be screened widely in the US via TV and smart devices.

Hung said that authorities should offer more support to both state-owned and private film studios to encourage them to produce more quality films with high artistry. – VNS 

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