Famed Australian filmmaker in talks on Hai Bà Trưng biopic

May 30, 2022 - 08:01
Australian film director, producer and screenwriter Phillip Noyce, who directed Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American” is discussing with Vietnamese filmmakers a biopic about Vietnam’s legendary Trưng sisters.


Movie star and film director Trương Ngọc Ánh, Australian film director, producer and scriptwriter Phillip Noyce and his wife, and Vietnamese-Australian producer Janet Ngô (from left to right) in HCM City. Photo courtesy of TNA Entertainment

HCM CITY — Australian film director, producer and screenwriter Phillip Noyce, who directed Graham Greene’s The Quiet American is discussing with Vietnamese filmmakers a biopic about Việt Nam’s legendary Trưng sisters. 

Noyce has met with movie star and producer Trương Ngọc Ánh, owner of TNA Entertainment – a private film and entertainment agency, on making the film Trưng Vương (She-Kings), based on two national heroines, two Trưng sisters.

The sisters, Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị, led the nation’s first resistance movement against South Han Chinese occupation in the first century around 2,000 years ago.

They rode elephants to repel Chinese invasions and bring liberation for Đại Việt (an old name for Việt Nam) after 247 years of the invader’s domination.

The film’s producer, Ánh, has also invited Vietnamese-Australian female film producer Janet Ngo to join the project.

Ánh will meet with Ngo and Noyce and go on city tours next week, she told local media. 

“I hope his visit to Việt Nam will lead to comprehensive cooperation between TNA Entertainment and Noyce, beginning with Trưng Vương and probably more projects in future.” 


A poster of 'Trưng Vương' (She-Kings), a historic biopic initiated by producer and movie star Trương Ngọc Ánh. Photo courtesy of TNA Entertainment

 First scenes shot

Casting for Trưng Vương (She-Kings) began in 2020 and filming was expected to begin this year. 

The film crew assembled so far, including young director Đặng Hải Quang, have worked and consulted with dozens of cultural researchers and historians in Hà Nội and HCM City.

Talented composers, singers and fashion designers have also been invited to work on the production.

Among many successful and acclaimed films that Noyce has directed is The Quiet American in 2002, an adaptation of Graham Greene’s bestselling 1955 novel set in Việt Nam.

The film featured Hollywood stars Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser with Vietnamese actress Đỗ Thị Hải Yến in a supporting role. 

The film has scenes filmed in Hà Nội, HCM City, Ninh Bình and Hội An.  

Ánh began her career in 1995. She has performed in dozens of films and TV series, including international and national prize-winning productions Áo Lụa Hà Đông (The White Silk Dress) and Sài Gòn Nhật Thực (Saigon Eclipse).

In 2014, she played a leading role in Hương Ga (Rise), a production directed by Vietnamese-Canadian director Cường Ngô.

The film fetched Ánh the Golden Kite for Best Actress at the annual Golden Kite Awards that year. The awards are presented by the Việt Nam Cinematography Association in HCM City.

Ánh has also produced four films, including the blockbuster Sắc Đẹp Ngàn Cân (The Beauty), a Vietnamese version of South Korean film 200-Pound Beauty.

“Producer Janet and I love to feature Vietnamese history on film. We also want to focus on Vietnamese women in movies,” said Ánh. — VNS