Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The film Thành Phố Ngủ Gật (Drowsy City) will be introduced at various international film festivals before its national premiere in June, director Lương Đình Dũng confirmed on Tuesday in Hà Nội.
This is an independent film project with a budget of just VNĐ1 billion (US$45,000).
Though the film stars amateur actors and actresses, it has the participation of famous filmmakers including musician Martynas Bialobzeskis from Lithuania who was honoured at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and cameraman Chaiyapreuk Bank Chalermpornpanit from Thailand whose films have been presented at Busan, Berlin and Singapore international film festivals.
“A low budget doesn’t mean the film is cheap or poor,” said Dũng.
“The direction and screenplay were done by myself, while the actors are amateurs so they don’t require a high wage. It’s shot in an abandoned house in HCM City so we didn’t need much money.”
“Professional filmmakers and post-production are important parts of the project. This should be the most costly process but I told them the film is being made for artistic purposes, not for commercial gain. It will be screened at various international film festivals. I received a lot of sympathy and support from them.”
Director Lương Đình Dũng (right) and actor Nguyễn Văn Toàn on the set. — Photo courtesy of the director
Shooting has wrapped up and post-production will be completed in South Korea.
The film tells the story of Tảo (performed by Nguyễn Văn Toàn), a chicken slaughterer living in an old house. His life is very repetitive until a group of men and a young woman move to the area.
Dũng selected amateur actors to bring new inspiration to the film. He was totally satisfied with their roles.
“The setting of the film is an abandoned house, so we were under a lot of pressure and had to work 16-18 hours a day,” said Dũng.
Dũng has won many local and international awards for his debut film Cha Cõng Con (Father and Son) which was selected as the official entry for the Best Foreign-Language Film for the 90th Academy Awards.
The film won the Best Cinematography award at the 17th Milano International Film Festival (MIFF), Best Foreign Feature and Special Jury Award for Outstanding Cinematography at the 26th Arizona International Film Festival and the Indie Spirit Best Storyline award at the 15th Boston International Film Festival.
After Drowsy City, Dũng will work on action film 578 and thriller Ma Đói: Mật Mã 45 (Hungry Ghost: Code 45) from now to 2020. — VNS