Vietnamese-Spanish expect cooperation in cinema

Update: October, 20/2017 - 16:30
A scene of Thị Mai - the first Spanish movie shot in Việt Nam. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese filmmakers hope to reach an agreement with Spanish filmmakers to promote cooperation in filmmaking in the future, Ngô Phương Lan, head of the Việt Nam Cinema Department, said at a discussion on Tuesday.

The discussion was held as part of the Spain Film Festival in Hà Nội from October 17 to 22.

In attendance were Mencia Manso de Zuniga, Italian embassy’s culture counselor; Spanish producer Larry Levene; director Patricia Ferreira; established Vietnamese filmmakers; and representatives of film studios in Việt Nam.

Spanish filmmakers shared their experiences of Việt Nam while making Thị Mai -- the first Spanish movie shot in Việt Nam. The movie starred popular Spanish and Vietnamese actors and was shot in Hà Nội and Hạ Long Bay in the northern province of Quảng Ninh.

"Story is a key factor in filmmaking," producer Levene said. "However, it is very important to find a good partner to co-produce a work. International film crews will popularise the image of the host country and draw international attention. This will also boost the economy.

"Việt Nam will have to compete with other countries in the region which have experience in filmmaking cooperation. After the movie Thị Mai was completed, I felt Việt Nam not only has beautiful landscape but Vietnamese filmmakers are also professional."

The producer also suggested that the Vietnamese Government support mechanisms and change legal procedures to provide favourable conditions to international film crews visiting Việt Nam for shooting.

Levene is the president of ADHN, the Spanish Association of Documentary Production Companies, and member of the board of FAPAE, the Spanish Federation of Film Producers Association. He is an independent producer first, and is currently producer, director and scriptwriter.

Motion picture and documentary are main genres of cinema, according to People Artist Nguyễn Như Vũ, director of the Việt Nam National Science and Documentary Centre. He reported that Spanish documentaries have been being introduced at European Vietnamese documentary film festivals held annually in Việt Nam.

"We are looking for opportunities to make documentaries with Spanish filmmakers," Vũ said.

Documentary making opportunities between Spain and Việt Nam are expected to increase soon because producer Levene is a veteran documentary filmmaker. He has produced some 40 documentaries, of which he had also been director for about half.

At the discussion, filmmakers of the two countries also expressed their desire to not only promote cooperation opportunity between Việt Nam and Spain but also introduce culture and movies to people of their respective countries. 

"We try to have proper policies providing favourable conditions for international filmmakers shooting in Việt Nam, such as establishing a film commission," Lan said. 

"We want to show you that Việt Nam has not only a beautiful landscape but Vietnamese people and their stories are also interesting to discover. We also hope that Spanish filmmakers will popularise the image of Việt Nam as a potential destination for shooting and inspire other filmmakers."

The department signed agreements with several partners from South Korea, France and Poland on filmmaking cooperation and development. The agreements include cooperation in professional know-how exchange to educate employees, production techniques and distribution, as well as cooperation for future film co-productions. — VNS