Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Despite his tight schedule with new film projects in the US, the director of Hollywood blockbuster, Kong: Skull Island, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, has still managed to contribute to Việt Nam’s film industry.
Most recently, he was among three judges of Việt Nam’s ‘The 48 Hour Film Project’, together with Vietnamese director Phan Gia Nhật Linh, cameraman Bảo Nguyễn and producer Jenni Trang Lê.
Though the American director was absent from the awards ceremony on Sunday, Vogt-Roberts sent a video of himself announcing the top prize, which was awarded to a short film entitled Đường Mật (Imaginary Friends).
According to him, Imaginary Friends, which evolves around a mission of a gang, is a harmonious work of both content and technique that showcases features typical of Vietnamese cinema.
The film will represent Việt Nam to compete in the International 48 Hour Film Festival that will be held in the US at the end of this month.
Vogt-Roberts recalled, in the early years of his career, he made several short films in difficult conditions, lacking both money and time. However, such experience rewarded him with excitement and a sense of freedom. The Kong director added that he still treasures such moments of enthusiasm.
Earlier, Vogt-Roberts returned to Việt Nam to launch a scholarship fund for Vietnamese students in the arts and cinematography. The fund will offer two full scholarships worth US$90,000 each for four years of study at a university in the US.
Last year, he was named Việt Nam’s Tourism Ambassador for 2017-2020 by the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in March. He is the first film director to take on the position, which aims to promote Việt Nam to the world.
Not long after being named tourism ambassador, Vogt-Roberts was brutally assaulted in a bar in Ho Chi Minh City, an incident he and GQ journalist Max Marshall discovered had been perpetrated by Vietnamese-Canadian gangsters, one of whom has been arrested in India on unrelated charges.
Vogt-Roberts said he was working with the ministry to make music videos about tourist destinations in Việt Nam to introduce the sites to international audiences.
“I have also invited American directors and actors to visit famous tourist destinations, including Sapa of Lào Cai Province, Sơn Đoòng Cave of Quảng Bình, and Đà Nẵng,” he added.
Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island was the biggest Hollywood movie ever to be filmed in Việt Nam. The blockbuster, whose backdrop was mostly shot in Việt Nam landscapes in Quảng Bình, Ninh Bình, and Quảng Ninh Provinces, earned more than US$142 million in ticket sales globally and $6.6 million in only Việt Nam, after just two weeks of release. — VNS