by Thu Anh
Filmmakers are spending a lot on special effects in the hope of luring moviegoers to cinemas this coming Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays.
|Big guns: A scene from Loi Nguyen Huyet Ngai (Blood Vow), a film produced by the Galaxy Studio to be released during Lunar New Year in late January.
Galaxy Studio, one of the country's leading private film companies, will release its supernatural thriller, Loi Nguyen Huyet Ngai (Blood Vow), a week before Tet.
It has spent around VND25 billion (over US$1.2 million) on the film which has plenty of visual and sound effects.
Directed by Bui Thac Chuyen, who is also one of the film's scriptwriters along with Bui Kim Quy, the film promises to appeal to both young audiences and adults.
"My film has fresh content and performances," Chuyen, whose first movie, the 2005 release Song Trong So Hai (Living in Fear), won the 2006 Shanghai International Film Festival's Asian New Talent Prize, said.
Loi Nguyen Huyet Ngai tells the story of Chieu Duong, a 16-year-old girl who has the mental make-up of a six-year-old following a traumatic incident during her childhood.
However, the incident gives her a strange power – the ability to read people's minds and foretell disasters.
Ha Noi student Nguyen Thuy Duong won the role beating more than 2,000 amateurs and professionals who auditioned for it.
"Though it was difficult to fit in the filming with my school schedule, my big role in Loi Nguyen Huyet Ngai was worth the challenge", she said.
Skilled actors Thanh Loc and Nhu Quynh also feature in the film.
Minh Chung's Le Phi Tinh Yeu (Love Fee) is a full-length comedy produced by Viet Film and featuring famous comedians like Hoai Linh, Hong Van and Viet Anh.
Chung has not changed his style because he thinks comedies are a perennial favourite with audiences, even more so during the festive season.
"My film features comedy, exciting action, and serious issues like love and life", the director, who has the reputation of making quality comedies, said.
With its young and attractive cast, including pop idols Minh Hang and Tieu Chau Nhu Quynh, the film is expected to be a draw with young audiences.
Another comedy, Hello Co Ba (Hello Ms Ba), made by the industry's biggest name, Phuoc Sang, is also in the offing. It focuses on rural life.
Vietnamese-American director Victor Vu's Thien Menh Anh Hung (Born to Be a Hero) is a martial arts flick.
Based on a novel by well-known writer Bui Anh Tan, the film is about the secrets of a famous family during the time of the Le Dynasty, including the tragic love of Nguyen Vu, the family's only son, for Hoa Xuan, a kungfu artist.
The co-producers, Saiga Film and Phuong Nam, signed up dozens of skilled make-up artists and fashion designers for the film.
Le Hoang has made a serious film, Toi Nay, 8 Gio (Tonight at 8pm). The veteran, who began the film after asking himself why poor young women could not dream of changing their destiny, says: "Tonight at 8pm" revolves around the daily lives and efforts of four girls to overcome difficulties to achieve a better life."
"I thinks young audiences will identify with the girls."
Hoang made his mark with the wildly popular Gai Nhay (Bar Girls) and its sequel in 2003 and 2005, and is thought to be instrumental in introducing escapist fare in Viet Nam.
His film is the only one expected to buck the trend of the holiday season which is invariably dominated by comedies and light fare.
This yea, Lunar New Year falls on January 23. — VNS