Opportunities to develop Vietnamese cinema

Sunday, 2018-11-11 15:08:21
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Film “Summer in Closed Eyes” became the only Vietnamese representative to compete at HANIFF 2018.
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NDO - The fifth Hanoi International Film Festival 2018 (HANIFF 2018), with the participation of nearly 50 cinemas worldwide, has become a cultural event that brings a lot of excitement to the artists and film lovers. HANIFF 2018 is also a chance for Vietnam's film industry to exchange, learn and grow stronger.

"Party" of classic film

Throughout the four seasons of the festival, up to now, the hallmark of the HANIFF has become more and more visible. From 59 films of 22 international cinemas in the first HANIFF, this year’s festival has attracted 147 films from 45 countries and territories around the world. Particularly, the organisers only select films that have not competed in festivals in Asia, instead of festivals in Southeast Asia as previous festivals. “The festival will provide the opportunity to discover new movie talents and screen new films", Head of The Vietnam Cinema Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ngo Phuong Lan shared.

The participation of famous films from Poland, Iran, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea, Argentina, France, Russia, Germany and Southeast Asia countries show the increasing attraction of the HANIFF. In addition to the film contestants, a series of attractive international films were also screened during five days at four cinemas in Hanoi. The number of Vietnamese films at this year’s festival was also larger than the previous festivals, with nearly 40 feature films, documentaries and cartoons produced since 2016. These numbers have helped the public to get a sense of the progress of Vietnamese cinema and have created opportunities to bring Vietnamese films into the international film market.

The HANIFF 2018 not only opens the door to integration but also records the meeting between generations of Vietnamese filmmakers, between Vietnamese and international cinema, and between film lovers, artists and filmmakers. With many veteran artists, who have played classic roles in Vietnamese cinema, the festival is considered as a meaningful opportunity of the artists.

Seeing that the HANIFF has become more and more attractive to foreign films and ekips in Vietnam, film producer Phuoc Sang shared that it created excitement for filmmakers. “When we interact with international film producers and artists, we will have a chance to improve our professional skills.”

“What is Vietnamese cinema learning?”

With the selection of films that have never competed in international film festivals in Asia, “Summer in Closed Eyes” became the only Vietnamese representative to compete at HANIFF 2018. This is the first time, Phuong Anh Dao, the main actress of “Summer in Closed Eyes” has participated in HANIFF, so everything is very new for her. "This is an opportunity for young people to expand their observations. When I heard that the “Summer in Closed Eyes” became a representative of Vietnam competing with the international films, I was surprised because I never thought that the film would bring me and my team so many opportunities ", Phuong Anh Dao said.

Exchanging and expanding vision, but what has Vietnamese cinema learnt? The question asked by the Vietnamese profession has answers from many angles. The highlight in the chain of activities of the festival is the sharing experiences of experts from famous cinemas such as Poland and Iran at two programmes "Polish cinema focus" and "International success experience of Iranian cinema". The programmes have provided the Vietnamese film producers with valuable lessons.

Prof. Andrej Pitrus from Jagiellonian University, in Poland, shared that the success of Polish cinema has been made by learning from the great cinema. "Many famous films start with small ideas, but we have always explored and sought opportunities in seemingly impossible places" he said.

The lesson from Iranian cinema is the success of low-budget films, not sensitive scenes and always requiring strict control. It seems that it is in contrast to the current development of Vietnamese cinema, where investors always place revenues, stars and ticket sales as the priority, but the success is not so great.

Rouhollah Hejazi, director of the film “The Dark Room”, said: "With sensitive scenes, Iranian filmmakers have to handle scenes through light, sound, angles and emotions, to convey in an artistic language."

"Do not look at each film as a business project!" That is the experience of young Vietnamese director Nguyen Hoang Diep. The director is concerned, as many as 90-98% of Vietnamese films now favour commercial elements, humor and action. So every time a new film project is made, the filmmakers always get the question: Does the movie sell well? Is there a star or not? ... Many film projects have been viewed in terms of a business projects rather than artwork. "At times I was really puzzled, because when there are 98% of commercial films, the other 2% is too low. “Can real art films survive? Iranian films show the kindness and humanity. That becomes the fulcrum whenever I feel confused. I look at the good movies, the filmmakers to step forward", the director of “Flapping In The Middle Of Nowhere” shared.