|When they were children: A scene from Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh (Yellow Flowers on Green Grass), directed by American-Vietnamese Victor Vu, which will be distributed abroad by Fortissimo Films. — Photo courtesy of Galaxy Studio
HCM CITY (VNS) — A Vietnamese movie about childhood will be distributed abroad under deal signed between HCM City-based Galaxy Studio and Fortissimo Films, an Amsterdam- and Hong Kong-based organisation involved in film, television and videos sales and distribution.
The film Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh (Yellow Flowers on Green Grass) is based on a novel by best-selling author Nguyen Nhat Anh, famous for his books about children.
Anh's 380-page Toi Da Thay Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh (I Saw Yellow Flowers on Green Grass) was first published in 2010 by Tre (Youth) Publishing House. It became a publishing phenomenon within the first two weeks of release. It has been reprinted many times by prestigious publishers.
The book is about a group of rural children living in a poor village. It tells stories about friendship, love, compassion and heartlessness.
The film's producers, Galaxy Studio and Phuong Nam Film, asked director Viet Linh, who divides her time between Paris and HCM City, to join the film project, which began early last year.
To differentiate her film from other productions, Linh decided to write the screenplay herself.
"I'm very interested in working on Anh's work. I burst into laughter while reading the book. I also cried," said Linh, in an interview with Dien Anh Viet Nam (Viet Nam Cinematography) magazine.
After finishing writing, Linh, with approval from the producers, transferred her work to her younger colleague, American-Vietnamese director Victor Vu.
Victor won the Jury Prize at the International Film Festival in Ha Noi in 2012 for his kung fu film, Thien Menh Anh Hung (Blood Letter).
In 2013, his Bi Mat Tham Do (Scandal), a work about the dark side of showbiz, received the Golden Kite Prize for best director presented by the Viet Nam Cinematography Association.
The film Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh (Yellow Flowers on Green Grass) is expected to be a quality production. The film is scheduled to screen at home and abroad in August.
Fortissimo Films has also worked with BHD, one of the country's leading private film producer and distributors, to distribute Hot Boy Noi Loan va Cau Chuyen Ve Thang Cuoi, Co Gai Diem va Con Vit (Lost in Paradise), a film about homosexuality directed by Vu Ngoc Dang.
The film was sent to the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, and later to the Vancouver International Film Festival and Busan International Film Festival.
Although several Vietnamese films have won prizes recently at international movie festivals, domestic producers are finding it hard to export their movies.
"Chinese and South Korean films dominate our cinemas and television stations, but we're not managing to sell our movies abroad," a senior official of the Viet Nam Film Distribution and Screening Company (Fafilm), who declined to be named, said.
The films could be a financial success overseas, but producers are too passive about marketing their movies in other countries, he said.
In recent years, Fafilm has worked with partners from South Korea, Germany and the US to export Vietnamese films and documentary films.
Movies such as Doi Cat (Sand Life), Ben Khong Chong (Wharf of Widows) and Thung Lung Hoang Vang (Desert Valley), directed by well-known directors Tran Thanh Van and Luu Trong Ninh, have been shown in Asia and other countries.
Fafilm said it would invest its money and human resources on both producing and marketing Vietnamese movies and finding more partners in overseas. — VNS