Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – First-time director Hồng Ánh is making a motion picture about young Vietnamese people set in the chaotic reality of a multi-cultural society.
The movie, titled Đảo Của Dân Ngụ Cư (The Island of Aliens), is adapted from Đỗ Phước Tiến’s story. Set in a seaside town in Việt Nam, The Island of Aliens follows the characters’ journey in their search for happiness and the meaning of life. It vividly depicts Việt Nam’s multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society.
The story is told from the viewpoint of Phước, a restaurant chef’s assistant, who portrays the desperation of the characters in their search for happiness.
The other characters include a Chinese-Vietnamese businessman and his daughter, an Indian-Vietnamese businessman and a Khmer southern Vietnamese.
“I am haunted by the loneliness of the characters and their dreams of freedom,” director Ánh said. “They come from different parts of the country and live together in an isolated space at a time of changing values in Việt Nam.”
“I would like to share their loneliness, which is sometimes born of their own rules and narrow dreams.”
The intent is to present the movie at international film festivals before the national release in 2017.
Ánh said she read the script some 10 years ago and intended to produce the movie and act in it, but the project did not pan out.
Ánh said she was inspired by Hong Kong director Wang Kar-wai and would be influenced by his style in her first motion picture.
“I will make the movie according to director Wang’s style of colour and slow rhythm. There will be long periods without dialogue,” she said.
"The cinematography will consist of long takes in contrast to repeated fixed wide shots. The sounds will be recorded from real life and from old and well-known love songs, with silence in-between.”
The movie will be shot by veteran cameraman Lý Thái Dũng in Hội An township in the central province of Quảng Nam and the central city of Huế.
The cast comprises a combination of young talent and established actors and actresses from the Vietnamese film industry. Ngọc Thanh Tâm, an emerging actress, will star as the female lead.
Being introduced to the silver screen for the first time as the male lead, singer-songwriter Phạm Hồng Phước will be the wow factor in the film. In a supporting role, Nhan Phúc Vinh promises to surprise the audience with his new image. Two Vietnamese veteran actors Hoàng Phúc and Ngọc Hiệp will also return to the cinema after a long break.
The Island of Aliens was penned by author Tiến in 1992. It was translated into French and English. Famed writer Nguyễn Quang Lập wrote the movie script in 1996.
“The story of The Island of Aliens can never be out of date,” director Ánh said. “I will make a movie according to my own interpretation.”
The movie is an arthouse film being produced by Ánh’s studio Blue Production and Live Media. Hồng Ánh is an established actress and has won several awards, including the best actress title at the Dubai Film Festival in 2008. — VNS