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Good scripts make good films: experts

Update: November, 26/2014 - 09:36

Young aspiring filmmakers learned about visual narrative from Vietnamese and international artists yesterday at a workshop during the third Ha Noi International Film Festival.— Photo cinet.gov.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Young aspiring filmmakers learned about visual narrative from Vietnamese and international artists yesterday at a workshop during the third Ha Noi International Film Festival.

Screenwriter Uli Gaulke talked about how to find scripts for documentary and fiction movies, and British director Joe Lawlor shared stories from his 25-year career in the industry during the festival's Talent Campus, a series of lectures and workshops that brought together industry professionals and students.

Seminar participants raised questions about the difficulties they've faced creating their first films. They asked what makes a good film, how they should handle arguments during film-making and what a good relationship between a screenwriter and a director looks like.

Lawlor said one of the biggest challenges in screenwriting was making the words really come alive.

"Cinema is complicated," Lawlor said. "The creative process is important, and how you tell the story is much more important than what the story actually is."

Cho Young-jik, a South Korean director of photography, surprised audience members when he said he only spent eight days shooting his last movie, directed by celebrated and controversial filmmaker Kim Ki-duk.

The film, Pieta, won the Golden Lion award for best film at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.

"Working with Kim Ki-duk was a new experience for me," Cho said. "He let me take all responsibility in photography. But only he gave me four days to prepare everything. Normally this work is done over three to four months."

The award-winning movie had a very low budget – US$300,000 – and drew about 800,000 viewers in South Korea, Cho said. Blockbuster movies generally get 5-10 million viewers.

Director Nguyen Hoang Diep, the workshop's chairwoman, shared stories about her first feature film, Dap Canh Giua Khong Trung (Flapping in The Middle of Nowhere), which won the 2014 Venice Film Festival's Critics' Week award.

Diep spoke about the journey it took for her to write her script, which was awarded a top prize during the 2012 Ha Noi film festival.

"The Talent Campus was a precious chance for me to be selected by foreign producers," Diep said.

Aspiring film makers should focus on finding funding for their films themselves, and not wait for foreign investments, she said.

Int'l co-operation

Another seminar focused on film co-operation between Viet Nam and other countries. Vietnamese and foreign filmmakers reviewed movies made in Viet Nam in recent years.

Viet Nam is a destination for French filmmakers, said Thierry Lenouvel, one of the producers of Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere.

"The movie's success at international film festivals proves how effective co-operation between Vietnamese and foreign filmmakers can be," Lenouvel said.

Foreign filmmakers at the seminar said they hoped to find potential Vietnamese partners for future films during the festival.

"Vietnamese landscapes promise a spectacular background for foreign filmmakers," said Nguyen Thi Hong Ngat, deputy head of the Viet Nam Cinematography Association.

"Vietnamese cinema has developed step by step, but Viet Nam needs to promote international co-operation to produce more good films."

A photo exhibition on Vietnamese destinations being held at Daewoo Hotel until November 27 aims to showcase the country's natural landscape to filmmakers. — VNS

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