Thursday, September 24 2020


Young filmmakers’ focus: gender equality

Update: March, 11/2016 - 09:00
Gender equality: A scene of Bình Minh (The Sun Ries) produced by Trần Ngọc Kim Cương and Võ Huy Thăng. --Photo courtesy of movie crew

HÀ NỘI — A short film focused on family troubles caused by the wife rather than the husband has made a strong impression at a filmmaking competition on gender equality, launched by UNDP.

The eight-minute film titled Bình Minh (The Sun Rises) was produced by Trần Ngọc Kim Cương and Võ Huy Thăng, two young filmmakers from the southern province of Cần Thơ, who are studying in Cần Thơ University.

The film follows the life of a family living on a boat in Cái Răng Floating Market, Cần Thơ Province. The wife is seen shouting at her husband, whom she pushes to the floor, and their daughter, whose books she then tore to pieces.

However, it is only a dream. The husband wakes up after a long sleep brought on by drinking too much. As usual, the husband is seen as the one who creates friction in the family.

The actors were a real family, and the movie was filmed on their house boat. The husband was played by Nguyễn Văn Lượm, his wife was Nguyễn Thị Kim Chưởng, and their daughter was Hân.

They all act naturally in the film despite never having appeared on camera before. They were encouraged to play out a scenario that sometimes occurs in their family. But in real life, it is Lượm who causes trouble, not his wife.

The UNDP funded the film, and several others, under a filmmaking project titled Film Competition – Breaking Gender Stereotypes.

“We talked with Lượm and Chưởng and convinced them to help make the film. It was a chance for them to review themselves,” Kim Cương said. “It works effectively. Through the short film, we want people to know that a man and woman are equal at home, in the workplace and in public spaces.

 “It is necessary to portray equality between men and women in rural areas, where there are many illiterate women. Most of them accept their fate with resignation. They do not have any response when their husbands come home drunk. They still cook for them.”

The filmmakers wanted to convey that women are not weak and can be powerful when they want.

The film competition was launched last December, attracting film proposals from more than 50 individuals and teams.

Nine of the best scripts were granted funding for production. At the final stage of the competition, the review panel, including Vietnamese directors Bùi Thạc Chuyên and Nguyễn Hoàng Điệp and a UNDP representative, selected three films as winners and awarded one special prize based on public votes on the campaign’s social media channels.

Nguyễn Phương Phi’s Con Yêu Mẹ (I Love You) won the first prize, Ngô Trang’s Hãy Để Con Giúp Cha (Let Me Help You, Dad) took the second and Arch Media team’s Cô Lập (Isolated) grabbed the third prize.

“Through the #HowAbnormal films and the winning films presented today, gender norms can be highlighted and the double standards that the public holds in terms of expectations of women and men or boys and girls can be brought to light,” Dr Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam, said at the award ceremony held last week in Hà Nội.

She also called on everyone to take the pledge and make a commitment to shape gender norms to create a more equal and just society. “I strongly believe that each commitment will bring about change, and collectively, we can create a more just society,” she said.

The filmmaking competition is part of the #HowAbnormal campaign to encourage filmmakers to develop creative films that challenge negative gender stereotypes, raise different perspectives and promote equality.

It received enthusiastic participation from young filmmakers across the country, who have produced vivid, objective and honest images of gender norms.

People can watch The Sun Rises on — VNS


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