Star turn: Actor Zhang Jia Hui from Hong Kong (middle) and two Vietnamese actresses walk down the red carpet on Tuesday. Zhang's film The Stool Pigeon was released in Viet Nam at the International Film Festival. — VNS Photos Viet Thanh
HA NOI — Filmmakers and critics gathered in three workshops within the framework of the first Viet Nam International Film Festival yesterday to discuss and encourage the development of the domestic film industry.
South Korean film critic Cho Bockrey said she loved watching Vietnamese films but used to feel that the local cinema environment was very out-of-date.
"I've watched several films by director Dang Nhat Minh and met some filmmakers," Cho said. "I feel that the Vietnamese film industry is similar to the Korean industry about 20 years ago."
Cho said she played a key role in choosing Vietnamese locations for the film Red River by Chinese director Zhang Jia-rui, and she lauded the teamwork and quick official approvals she witnessed in Viet Nam.
Yoo Byung-woon, who works as a cinematographer with the Korea Broadcasting System, said he has been to Viet Nam six times and lauded the efforts of the Vietnamese movie industry despite limited technical conditions.
"The friendly manners and efforts of the Vietnamese people, as well as the beautiful scenery and unique customs, are a rich inspiration and will lead more film crews to select Viet Nam as a location," Yoo said.
"Vietnamese culture excites creativity," he added. "It was very strange that, when we were preparing a scenario back home that we couldn't work out, we just had to arrive in Viet Nam and work directly with a Vietnamese film crew, and we were given new suggestions and inspiration."
The director of the Singapore International Film Festival, Phillip Cheah, suggested that Vietnamese filmmakers listen to and exchange more with their audiences.
"We have seen Vietnamese films but we want more," Cheah said. "If you bring your films closer to the standards of international audiences, the film industry will develop steadily." — VNS