|Vietnamese movie Trạng Tí (Child Master) is one of many to change its release date to next year. Photo thethaovanhoa.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The Government has asked relevant bodies to support the Vietnamese cinema industry to overcome the crisis caused by COVID-19.
According to a document signed by Vice Chairwoman of the Government Office Mai Thị Thu Vân, the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Việt Nam will consider helping businesses in the film industry at the request of the Việt Nam Association of Film Promotion and Development (VFDA).
VFDA Chairwoman Ngô Phương Lan had previously sent a proposal to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to support film production, distribution and screening businesses which had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic was having a serious and long-lasting impact on the film industry, Lan said.
"A number of film studios and enterprises are in a difficult situation," she said. "Some of them are on the verge of bankruptcy," she added.
Cinemas have been closed since the start of the pandemic, but owners still have to pay rent. Plus, some film releases have been postponed.
Filming has also ground to a halt as most sets need a hundred or more people to shoot.
“The Government's policy is to support small businesses," Lan said.
"Vietnamese film businesses account for nearly 30 per cent of the domestic market share, so they can be considered small businesses that do not have the financial resources to be able to cope with the crisis in the long term.
“We have also seen in other countries and territories such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, France and the US policies to support culture and art development, including the film industry."
Lan has asked the Government to give businesses in the film industry a tax break and defer individual income tax payments in 2020.
The association has also asked for employee social insurance to be deferred and preferential interest rates from banks.
Entertainment venues such as cinemas, theatres and bars have not been allowed to reopen despite social distancing being eased.
“Even if cinemas and theatres are allowed to reopen this month or in June, there will be no audiences. People will still avoid crowded places," Lan said.
“Many Vietnamese films and some Hollywood blockbusters have delayed their releases to the end of the year. There will be very few films to screen.
“The film industry will recover much slower than other industries."
Vietnamese films such as Bí Mật Của Gió (Secrets of The Wind), Truyền Thuyết Về Quán Tiên (Legend of Quán Tiên) and Trạng Tí (Child Master) are among the films to have delayed their release dates to next year. — VNS