|Cultural exchange is crucial to an international film festival. Photo tuoitre.vn|
HCM CITY The first international film festival is slated for HCM City next year, a long-awaited event that is expected to elevate the culture industry of the city.
The HCM City International Film Festival, the first of its kind in the city is organised from April 6 to 13 by the city's culture authority.
This event aims to honour Vietnamese and global cinema, promote cultural exchange and dialogue, and support film talent. The film festival will be organised at various locations within the city.
Over the years, HCM City has been the largest and most dynamic film market in Việt Nam. Film revenue in the city has consistently dominated, at times accounting for 60 per cent of the entire market.
Speaking with the Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper, directors Phan Đăng Di and Trịnh Đình Lê Minh, as well as producer Trần Thị Bích Ngọc, expressed their long-standing anticipation for this event.
"HCM City has a history of film industry development. Before 1975, the then Sài Gòn had a film industry operating on a market-oriented basis. At that time, film producers had international connections while Vietnamese actors participated in many international film festivals and acted in foreign films.” director Di said.
“In 2022, the country's Film Law was revised to allow localities to organise their own film festivals, resulting in the late introduction of the HCM City International Film Festival,” he said.
As a Vietnamese filmmaker who has participated in numerous renowned film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Venice, Di has high hopes for the HCM City International Film Festival.
"The film festival needs to expand the international integration capabilities of the local film industry through professional exchanges, film promotion, and specific policies for international production collaboration,” he said.
It is also crucial for the audience to meet with actors and filmmakers for cultural exchange during such an event.
The director stressed the importance of a major film festival to create its own unique space by organising gala screenings for well-deserved recognition of domestic works.
'A unique identity needed'
According to director Minh, a film festival is a significant event both in terms of commerce and art, allowing both filmmakers and audiences to immerse themselves in the world of cinema.
He also stated that the HCM City International Film Festival should establish its unique identity from the moment it is organised.
Timing will determine which films participate, and if there are no "world premieres", then at least it should be the first screening in the continent or region.
Film festivals should have their own orientations. For example, the Busan International Film Festival focuses on celebrating new trends in Asian cinema under its important New Current category, he said.
Meanwhile, producer Ngọc suggested that the HCM City International Film Festival should have its own unique voice.
"I expect the festival to have its own ecosystem, bringing unique advantages to the local area. I would also be delighted if it could connect with the international filmmaking community,” she said.
At every film festival, the "festival atmosphere" includes meetings, exchanges, and enjoyable social activities that are just as important as the formal ceremonies and main professional events.
Director Minh mentioned that he has met many cinematographers, composers, production collaborations and actors, at such film festivals.
Even if collaboration doesn't happen, these interactions often lead to valuable friendships.
A great opportunity
Nguyễn Thị Thanh Thúy, deputy director of the Department of Culture and Sports of HCM City, said she believes that the city has the strength to develop its culture industry due to its status as the economic, cultural, educational, scientific, and technological centre of the country.
“HCM City is considered the cinema centre of the country,” she said.
The city's film industry has inherited the achievements of the national cinema over the past 70 years and has grown and matured in areas such as creativity, performance, technology, management, and business.
Organising the HCM City International Film Festival is an opportunity to enhance the quality of the film market of the city and Việt Nam as a whole.
It contributes significantly to promoting the image of a safe, friendly, dynamic, integrating, and developing HCM City.
"It plays an important role in positioning the city as an essential base for participating in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network and promoting HCM City's image in the field of artistic creativity associated with the vision of sustainable socio-cultural development," Thuý added. VNS