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10 Months 10 Docs project honours young filmmakers

Update: May, 28/2015 - 08:00
Young filmmakers participating in the 10 Months, 10 Docs project take photos at the closing ceremony of the project, with representatives from the American embassy and the Vietnamese filmmakers who trained them. Photo courtesy: US embassy in Viet Nam.
HA NOI (VNS) — Three outstanding short documentaries made by young Vietnamese filmmakers were screened yesterday evening in Ha Noi, as part of the closing ceremony of the 10 Months 10 Docs project.

The project was carried out by the Centre for Assistance and Development of Movie Talents (TPD), and sponsored by the United States embassy in Viet Nam.

"Tonight's event honours Vietnamese talents. Making a film is like telling a story. I am glad that the young filmmakers here succeeded in telling the stories that interest many Vietnamese people. It's interesting when the world outside can also know more about contemporary life in Vietnam," US Ambassador Ted Osius said at the closing ceremony of the project.

The three films talk about contemporary society in Viet Nam.

The films are Nha Doi Dien (The Opposite House) featuring the love of the two gay men; Me con Ha (Mother and Daughter) depicting domestic violence; and Vi Sao Binh Khong Cuoi Chong (Why has not Binh been married?) that tells the story of a single woman who daily faces pressure to get married from her family and neighbours.

The project, which aimed to teach documentary filmmaking to young Vietnamese students, ran for 10 months from February 2014 to April 2015. Ten short documentary films were made during this period. They featured contemporary life in Viet Nam, with social issues such as gender equality, LGBT community (homosexuality), women and child rights.

"I believe the art is to pose questions, and not give the answers. With this project, we want to give young people a chance to pose all questions about the society around them and to speak about those social issues with other people," film director and TPD Director Bui Thac Chuyen said.

The project received US$20,000 from the American embassy. Before shooting their films, the young filmmakers involved in the project did a short filmmaking course with Mark Jonathan Harris, three-time Oscar-winning American documentary filmmaker, award-winning children's novelist, and a Distinguished Professor in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

They also took part in a seminar about sound techniques with French sound expert Arnold Soulier, and received guidance from several Vietnamese experimental filmmakers. They also had the opportunity to attend short courses that equipped them with knowledge about modern social matters, as well as skills needed to present a documentary filmmaking project.

The other seven documentary films made during the project will be shown (with English subtitles) at the TPD office (see listing on P22).

Filmmakers and the actors of the film will interact with the audience about the filmmaking process and the stories around the film.

TPD has trained several outstanding Vietnamese filmmakers. Over the last few years, it has held several free documentary filmmaking classes for interested young people. — VNS

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