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Festival honours Vietnamese identity in international integration

Update: November, 27/2019 - 09:36

The Việt Nam National Film Festival (VNNFF) has drawn the stars of the local cinema industry to the coastal province of Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu from November 23-27.

It’s a time for them to meet up and work to develop the national film industry. Minh Thu hit the red carpet to rub elbows with the stars.

Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà, vice director of the Department of Cinema and vice chairwoman of the organising board of the VNNFF. — VNS Photo Minh Khánh

Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà, vice director of the Department of Cinema, vice chairwoman of the organising board of the VNNFF

What is the state of the national film industry currently?

Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà: The cinema industry is a special industry because it doesn’t bring as much profit as others but it promotes the image of the country to the world, and it transfers people’s culture, opinion and messages.

In recent years, Vietnamese films have been invested in and made in a very creative, innovative and professional way. According to the Cinema Department, the number of Vietnamese films has increased to 15 per cent of all films screened in cinemas nationwide. Many film production companies have been established with foreign investment. Many films are now made with foreign experts and technology, leading to higher quality.

Many Vietnamese films and filmmakers have been honoured at international film festivals. It’s a good sign for the national film industry that we have a talented young generation of filmmakers.

Award-winning actress Nhã Phương. She's best known for her role in blockbuster TV series Tuổi Thanh Xuân (The Youth). — VNS Photo Minh Khánh 

Actress Nhã Phương

The festival is a much-anticipated event for cinema workers and film lovers. How does it feel to walk on the red carpet of the opening ceremony?

Nhã Phương: I am so happy to see many experienced artists, it’s a chance for me to exchange and learn from them. I feel proud to walk with them on the red carpet. This year, I feel eager to attend the event because there are many good films to be presented. There's no doubt that the Vietnamese cinema industry is blooming with excellent entries. The fact is that Vietnamese films have an impressive number of viewers at the box office.

People’s Artist Bùi Bài Bình, 63, Best Actor of the 13th VNNFF, answers journalists at the 21st VNNFF. — VNS Photo Minh Khánh

Actor, director, People’s Artist Bùi Bài Bình, 63, Best Actor of the 13th VNNFF: I have attended many seasons of the national film festival, each year I have a different feeling. When I and my film are nominated, I feel happy, proud and nervous if I receive the award or not. When I have no nomination, I still feel eager to attend the event because it’s a rendezvous of different generations of actors and filmmakers nationwide.

Actress Kaity Nguyễn and actor Quý Bình (right) had the honour of hoisting the flag at the opening of the film festival. — VNS Photo Ân Nguyễn

Quý Bình: This year, the festival is very special for me because actress Kaity Nguyễn and I had the honour to hoist the flag to open the VNNFF because we received the Best Actor and Best Actress titles at the previous festival. It makes you so happy when you receive appreciation for your effort, devotion and works of art. During a career, special moments like this don't come often.

What do you think of the quality of the films in the Competition Category?

Quý Bình: The 16 films competing at the festival this year are excellent. It’s a result of the development of the national film industry in the past two years. Most of them are for young people. It’s a regret that there are few films for audiences at a higher age. It’s not perfect for a national film festival. I hope that in the future, filmmakers will realise the demand and taste of old and middle-aged audiences. We should produce more films for them.

I watched most of the films and it’s hard to compare. Each has its own colour. The festival is a place to honour cinema workers so I think being nominated at this event is a recognition and appreciation. To win or not, it’s not important.

Director Đinh Tuấn Vũ whose film Truyền Thuyết Về Quán Tiên (A Legend in Quán Tiên) participates in the Competition Category. — Photo phununews.vn

Director Đinh Tuấn Vũ: This year, my film Truyền Thuyết Về Quán Tiên (A Legend in Quán Tiên) participates in the Competition Category, so I certainly expect it will be honoured with an award.

Among 16 films participating in the Competition Category, only four were sponsored by the State, the rest by private enterprises. What do you think about this?

Đinh Tuấn Vũ: Most of the State-produced films are about war, social issues and history. Some people think it sounds dry and boring. In the case of A Legend in Quán Tiên, I chose to tell the story in a gentle and emotional way, so the film exploits the characters’ philosophy, not only fighting or bombing. I expect that in the future we will see many other films produced following the State’s orders.

Director Đức Thịnh (left) and his wife, actress Thanh Thúy attend the opening ceremony of the VNNFF. — VNS Photo Minh Khánh
 

Director/actor Đức Thịnh

What do you think of the films in the Competition Category?

Đức Thịnh: I think they don’t reflect adequately current society and the development of the national cinema industry. They need more power to bring a panoramic view of society and culture. However, the films are rich in genre as we see romance, comedy and war/history.

Among 16 films participating in the Competition Category, only four were sponsored by the State, the rest by private enterprises. What do you think about this?

Đức Thịnh: Films of private enterprises get a lot of investment in terms of budget, scripts, post-production, cast and costumes. In my opinion, no matter if it’s produced by the private or State enterprises, it should be a good and humane film with a clear message.

Most of the films presented at the festival are for young people. What do you think about this?

Đức Thịnh: I think it’s obviously because audiences at the box offices are young people aged 17-25 as far as I know. So filmmakers will create works which are suitable for these people’s age and taste. — VNS

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