International film festival honours Vietnamese film

April 22, 2023 - 09:07
Vietnamese short film Safari recently won the Award of Excellence at the Nature Without Borders International Film Festival in the US.
Award-winners Nguyễn Hoàng Phúc Nghi ̣(left) and Nguyễn Cát Vũ. They are both final-year Digital Media students. Photo RMIT University Vietnam.

HÀ NỘI – Vietnamese short film Safari recently won the Award of Excellence at the Nature Without Borders International Film Festival in the US.

Safari is a stop-motion animated film made by Nguyễn Hoàng Phúc Nghi and Nguyễn Cát Vũ. The film takes viewers on an exploratory journey through natural habitats.

The journey is presented through the eyes of a traveller who witnesses a landscape being ravaged by humans through deforestation and animal hunting.

By showing the destruction of plants and animals by humans, the film raises awareness of the urgency to protect the natural environment.

“Most of the objects used in this project were created using the cut-out technique, which involved cutting paper,” said Nghi. “We chose this technique because it represents the destruction of nature that occurs through human activities."

“To emphasise this point further, we added texture to the paper. The cut paper was used to create shadows, which are the main objects. Shadows typically represent negative aspects, and in this case, we used them to highlight the negative impact of inhumane activities on the environment,” Nghi said.

Nghi and Vũ originally developed the film as part of the Pixilation Animation course, one of the specialisations delivered by the Digital Media programme at RMIT Vietnam.

Using a mix of paper cut-outs, shadows, and pixilation animation techniques, the project was a challenging and time-consuming process that required careful attention to detail.

With this project, Nghi and Vũ learned new things such as how to handle lighting, shadow and colour, according to Vũ.

“We had to film in the dark for some special effects and it was thus very difficult for us to record the footage," Vũ said. “Before and during the working process, we encountered many problems like a lack of time, bad quality footage, and balancing our heavy workloads. However, we improved and found a way to solve them quickly. The result is well worth the effort.”

Throughout their project, Nghi and Vũ were coached by the mentor Ricardo Arce-Lospez, Programme Manager for Digital Media and Associate Lecturer of Animation.

“This particular project, Safari, shows the power of creativity in addressing environmental issues,” he said. “I think the result is an exceptional artistic and technical achievement that serves as a reminder of the impact of deforestation and wild animal hunting.”

The award was also granted to other films from the US, Germany, the United Kingdom and Brazil, including the Vietnamese film The Awakening of the Vietnamese Elephant in Wildlife by director Teresa Carante. – VNS

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