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Short stories return to the airwaves

Update: November, 09/2013 - 10:53
Family friendly: A scene from the movie Nu Cuoi Cua Gau Con (Young Bear's Smile) which focuses on family happiness. After decades of multi-episode TV dramas, short films have returned to national television networks. — Photo tuoitre.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Short films that 20 years ago were replaced by multi-episode TV dramas have returned to national television networks.

In September, HTV 9 launched the 90-minute Rubic Nhieu Mat (The Multifaceted Rubik's Cube), a film about young people and their desire to become rich.

HTV9 airs newly made films of this length every Sunday at 3pm. VTV1 broadcasts films at 9.30pm every Sunday, beginning last month.

HTV and VTV now have nearly 50 new films.

HTV films like Tam Hon Tre Tho (Children's Soul) and Nu Cuoi Cua Gau Con (Young Bear's Smile) focus on family happiness while the film Ngay Tro Ve (Day to Come Back) is about same-sex relationships.

"The film scripts are written by well-known writers, " said Pham Thi Dung, director of Kiet Tuong Film Co.

Kiet Tuong Co has signed a contract to provide 25 short films to HTV for the coming months.

"Many popular artists including Anh Thu, Huynh Dong, Le Be La and Huy Khanh will act in the films," Dung said.

"Writing scripts for 90-minute films is not easy," writer Nguyen Thi Thu Hue, deputy head of VTV Editorial Committee said. "VTV selected only 10 from 120 scripts for production. We want to introduce films with good quality to TV viewers."

Many films, including Me Chong Toi (My Mother-in-law), Chim Phong Sinh (Releasing Birds) and Mua Sen (Lotus Season), aired two decades ago.

These shorter films were replaced by imported and locally made multi-episode TV series as television and film studios, some of whom are also major advertisers, earned profits from adverts paid by businesses during broadcasts.

"We're tired of seeing lengthy TV series, with too much love, jealousy and revenge," said second-year student Nguyen Thi Minh of HCM City Economics College.

Minh said an increasing number of locally made series were being aired on national TV networks, but audiences were displeased with the quality of the offerings.

"I like the short film Nu Xe (A Female Bus Driver) that was on VTV recently," movie fan Tran Le Ngoc said. "Details of the film were interesting."

"Film directors' talents are reflected in 90-minute films. In multi-episode TV series, directors must follow scripts," well-known film director Bui Huy Thuan said. "I welcome 90-minute film programmes."

"Directors' skills will corrode if they only make TV dramas," said celebrated director Khai Hung to Tuoi Tre (Youth) daily.

However, costs to make 90-minute films are concerned by many film producers.

"The funding we received for a 90-minute film is equal to a TV drama episode," said director Nguyen Duong. "But the time needed to make the film is longer, twice that of a TV episode."

"Many well-known artists refuse to act in short films. They choose multi-episode series with months or year-long contracts to get more money," said Quoc Anh, an official of Quoc Minh Film Co.

"Shorter films also have fewer adverts," Anh said.

"Despite difficulties and challenges ahead, we're determined to make 90-minute films for television to cater to viewers' diverse tastes," said Do Lan Huong, director of VTV Advertisement Co. —VNS


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