18th Na­tional Film Fest brings stars to Haï Long City

Outlook - - CONTENTS - By Khaùnh Chi

Al­most 50 films have reg­is­tered to par­take in the glitzy event and we out­line the ones to watch with in­sights from those in­volved be­hind and in front of the screen.

Ac­cord­ing to the cul­ture min­istry’s Cin­e­matog­ra­phy Depart­ment, al­most 50 films have reg­is­tered to par­take in the event from Oc­to­ber 11-15. Here we out­line the ones to watch with in­sights from those in­volved be­hind and in front of the screen.

Noted di­rec­tor Phaïm Nhueä Giang's lat­est work Laïc Loái (Lost) will vie for the Golden Lo­tus Award. The film, which has al­ready re­ceived crit­i­cal ac­claim, ex­plores the top­ics of love, fam­ily and so­cial dis­or­der.

Each film fes­ti­val is char­ac­terised by its own cri­te­ria and its re­spec­tive jury's pref­er­ences. Lost is an art film. If the jury do not sup­port this genre com­pared to more com­mer­cial fare, I won't have high hopes for Lost, even though it re­ceived a sil­ver prize at the Golden Kite Awards 2012 early this year.

At in­ter­na­tional film fes­ti­vals, art movies re­ceive proper recog­ni­tion, whereas in Vieät Nam this genre is too of­ten for­got­ten. We are reg­u­larly fi­nan­cially un­able to pro­duce movies, never mind pro­mote them. The pub­lic are in­creas­ingly in­vest­ing in the film in­dus­try, but mostly to­wards com­mer­cial movies.

A lo­cal film dis­trib­u­tor and I have worked to­gether to present the film this month. How­ever, due to the lack of fi­nanc­ing, Lost can­not hit screen na­tion­wide. To have enough money for the film, which cost around 3 bil­lion ñoàng (US$140,000), I spent years ask­ing for fi­nan­cial sup­port. Even­tu­ally, three for­eign funds helped with 2 bil­lion ñoàng, while me and a friend raised 1 bil­lion ñoàng.

It's sad that when­ever a film is not screened, direc­tors are of­ten blamed for be­ing un­con­cerned with what the pub­lic want to see.

All my friends and col­leagues who have watched Lost have told me that they like it very much. My il­lus­tri­ous col­league Ñaëng Nhaät Minh [a jury mem­ber at the Golden Kite Awards 2012], told me that Lost is my best work.

More im­por­tantly, what they told me is that the film de­picts a real story of life and all of its sever­ity. Char­ac­ters in the movie all present two faces of life, the good and the bad. The prob­lems they face, whether rich or poor, present dark­ness and light. Each char­ac­ter has their own tragedy, but none of them lose their most hu­man value, their hu­man­ity.

What I find hard in mak­ing se­ri­ous movies is find­ing money. Do­mes­tic fi­nan­cial sources no longer fund this film cat­e­gory, so we must de­pend on for­eign sources.

For any project, I need to per­suade for­eign spon­sors not only with the script - which needs to ap­proach con­tem­po­rary Viet­namese so­ci­ety - but also the artis­tic val­ues and vi­sion of the film. Nev­er­the­less, in times of eco­nomic hard­ship, the spon­sors them­selves have to make big cuts to fi­nanc­ing.

Lyù Thaùi Duõng, the key cam­era­man be­hind fea­ture film Nhöõng Ngöôøi Vieát Huyeàn Thoaïi (The Le­gend Mak­ers).

The Le­gend Mak­ers is one of my favourite his­tor­i­cal movies. This mov­ing wartime story takes place about 50 years ago, but it's told from a fresh an­gle by di­rec­tor Buøi Tuaán Duõng. The film de­picts one of the most vi­brant pe­ri­ods of the coun­try's his­tory, fo­cus­ing on the con­struc­tion of an oil pipe­line along the Tröôøng Sôn moun­tain range [by Gen­eral Ñinh Ñöùc Thieän and his soldiers]. They are leg­endary char­ac­ters who contributed great ef­forts to the cause of na­tional lib­er­a­tion.

The first dif­fi­culty we en­coun­tered dur­ing pro­duc­tion was fi­nan­cial. It was also hard to find weapons to use as props. Those found in mu­se­ums are not only in­suf­fi­cient; they are also quite old. The Le­gend Mak­ers de­picts the bat­tle­fields in the south and in the north where the resistance against the US air war took place. At that time, the soldiers' uni­forms and their equip­ment were quite new.

An­other dif­fi­culty was find­ing war­planes. But with fi­nan­cial sup­port from a lo­cal firm, we used dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy to create the im­age of fight­ing planes in the air. Dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy is so im­por­tant in film­mak­ing. It can make the im­pos­si­ble pos­si­ble.

The Le­gend Mak­ers tar­gets young au­di­ences, en­cour­ag­ing them to un­der­stand how their fa­thers' and grand­fa­thers' gen­er­a­tions lived and fought for the na­tion. I re­ally look for­ward to screen­ing it to the pub­lic and re­ceiv­ing their re­sponse.

I'm not young any­more, so I do not think as much of awards as when I was young. I just hope the film fes­ti­val will give us, who work in the field, the chance to un­der­stand what's go­ing on in the Viet­namese movie in­dus­try.

Whether a movie wins a prize de­pends on the fes­ti­val cri­te­ria and the jury's taste. Just be­cause a film wins an award doesn't mean it's any bet­ter than an­other film. The Viet­namese film in­dus­try is small, so it's hard to in­clude many dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories in each fes­ti­val.

I have been in­vited to be on the jury for many film fes­ti­vals, but I of­ten had to say no be­cause my films were go­ing to be shown at those fes­ti­vals. To name a few such in­stances, I won both the Golden Lo­tus Award and the Golden Kite Award in 2009 for shoot­ing Chôi Vôi (Adrift) by di­rec­tor Buøi

Thaïc Chuyeân. Then I was nom­i­nated for Best Cam­era­man at the Asian Film Awards 2009 for Adrift. Thung Luõng Hoang Vaéng (The De­serted Val­ley) by di­rec­tor Phaïm Nhueä Giang brought me the Golden Lo­tus Award for Best Cam­era­man in 2001.

Rock singer and free­lance ac­tor Phaïm Anh Khoa, who stars as Loäc in the re­cently re­leased Ñöôøng Ñua (The Race), has re­ceived his first nom­i­na­tion for the Best Ac­tor Award.

It was a big sur­prise for me, a free­lancer who never thought of de­vot­ing his whole life to the cinema. The feel­ing, I think, would be the same for any­one who is nom­i­nated for the first time.

But then come feel­ings of worry. Any award or nom­i­na­tion of­ten gives rise to pres­sures. I do not want to face any ir­ra­tional pres­sures apart from those di­rectly re­lated to pro­fes­sion­al­ism. Be­ing nom­i­nated for an award cat­e­gory in a big play­ing field like the na­tional film fes­ti­val is of sig­nif­i­cance to me. It shows that all the ef­forts I have made have been worth it.

The nom­i­na­tion makes me be­lieve I'm com­pletely able in this new field. It's a mat­ter of abil­ity, not luck. I al­ways work for the love of mu­sic or cinema, not for awards. Is the nom­i­na­tion im­por­tant to me? It de­pends on whether I stay longer with the movie in­dus­try or not.

My love with the cinema in­dus­try is in its early days so things seem to be rosy. In the long run, I sup­pose it will be full of chal­lenges like in the mu­sic in­dus­try that I'm pur­su­ing and want to de­vote my whole life to. It is easy for an artist to fall in love with an art. It's im­por­tant that one un­der­stands they are ca­pa­ble of fol­low­ing their choice. I'm well aware that I have a strong "can-do" at­ti­tude. I wish I had plenty of time to sing, act, dance, and em­cee.

Tem­po­rar­ily, I am work­ing in both mu­sic and film. To some ex­tends, these two fields sup­ple­ment each other quite well. An ob­vi­ous ad­van­tage is that be­ing a per­for­mance artist on stage en­ables me to act nat­u­rally in front of cam­eras.

In The Race I live the real life of Loäc. And I have learned many use­ful lessons through ob­sta­cles that Loäc en­coun­tered. Many times, his life is re­duced to a dilemma and Loäc must seek so­lu­tions. These chal­lenges some­times bring a pos­i­tive re­sults. The char­ac­ter has en­riched my life ex­pe­ri­ence.

I know there are many other col­leagues in the film in­dus­try who de­serve the nom­i­na­tion more than me, a new player who has ex­pe­ri­enced screen life in just two movies.

A cor­ner of the world her­itage site Haï Long Bay in Quaûng Ninh Prov­ince’s Haï Long City, the salu­bri­ous set­ting for the 18th Na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Viet Nam

© PressReader. All rights reserved.