A WISH: The young patient in the film Bắt Lấy Điều Ước (Dreamcatcher) hopes to help others reach their dreams. - Photo courtesy of the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion
It’s perhaps a child’s greatest right to dream and enjoy a happy life. While many hold great ambition, others simply dare to dream of a normal life without illness. Among these are young patients suffering from the blood disorder thalassemia.
Taking a popular toy -- the dreamcatcher -- as the name of a film project, actor Minh Tit and his team aimed to support this year’s blood donation drive called Lễ Hội Trăng Hồng (Red Moon Festival).
Bắt Lấy Điều Ước (Dreamcatcher) is a charity short film project launched early this month that the actors hope has a positive impact on the community, in particular by encouraging people to donate blood for kids with thalassemia.
The film revolves around a girl with the blood disease who has to regularly stay in hospital to receive blood transfusions.
Her family is poor and constantly facing difficulties since discovering she has the disease. The father must work long hours as a xe ôm (motorbike taxi driver) to pay for her treatment. There are times when the doctors tell the family to prepare for the worst.
But days pass, and the sick child never succumbs to the illness. The parents and their daughter remain steadfast in fighting for her life. The little child not only focuses on getting better but on helping others by spreading a positive vibe among those around her.
BEARING A MESSAGE: Bắt Lấy Điều Ước is a charity short film promoting an annual blood donation drive for children suffering from thalassemia. - Photo courtesy of the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion
In talking about the idea and the production of the short film, actor Minh Tit said preparations were made quite quickly because the film had to premiere before the Lễ Hội Trăng Hồng blood donation drive, which started at the end of September.
“We had only three weeks to write the script, shoot the film, and finish post-production,” he said. “I was fortunate to receive significant support and assistance from my colleagues.”
He and his team hope to convey a message to the community about blood donations for the needy, especially children.
“Many children can live longer from a simple action like giving blood, which is the most meaningful of gifts,” he said.
The story reminds the audience that there are always patients battling blood diseases and that every drop of blood they receive gives them the power to start regaining their health.
All of the actors and the entire crew of MinhTit Entertainment and 24 Film believe the film holds great meaning. Despite working hard for no money, they have seen the greatest success of their careers due to the noble action of passing on a humane message to the community, Minh Tit added.
“The turmoil and damage caused by COVID-19 pandemic have forced people all over the world, including the wealthy, to think more about money,” he said. “But if everyone only takes care of themselves, who will do the social work? Of course, some will say that different people live in different conditions, but we still must do everything we can!”
Minh Tit and his entire team were determined to devote their best efforts to the project.
In one emotional scene at the hospital, the little girl tells her mother “I want to help everyone, even if it’s the smallest thing, because that will bring them closer to their dreams.” Her health may be poor, but her heart is huge.
“So why can’t people like us, who are in good health and have the time, also be involved in small acts to help young patients get closer to their dream of simply being healthy and going to school?” Minh Tit asked.
Bùi Thu Phương, a young volunteer at the Youth Union’s Blood Donation Movement 5/12, said the title of the film, Dreamcatcher, comes from a tradition in an American Indian tribe, where each member has his or her own dreamcatcher -- a tool they believe can “hunt” beautiful dreams and drive away nightmares.
“For many, a dreamcatcher is like a lucky charm, a means of hope and support for the spirit,” she said.
“The film conveys the idea that those who are healthy and have a loving heart, who are willing to donate blood to save others, give hope to all. The Red Moon Festival wants to make sure that the dream of having enough blood to treat children with thalassemia will come true, so their dreams and ambitions can become reality.”
Nguyễn Văn Huyên, head of the Youth Union’s Blood Donation Movement 5/12, said Lễ Hội Trăng Hồng is an annual blood donation drive organised by the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion in cooperation with the Movement in Hà Nội and held around the time of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
FAMILY MATTERS: A moving scene from the film. Photo courtesy of the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion
This year, it took place from September 28 to 30 at Phương Đông General Hospital in the capital’s Bắc Từ Liêm District. This was the 13th time the drive has supported children with blood diseases.
As this year’s drive had to be held while preventing the spread of COVID-19, the organising committee changed the promotional activities and focused on different media channels to send positive messages about blood donations, which attracted the attention of many artists.
Actor Minh Tit quickly agreed to become the programme’s ambassador, Huyên said.
The organisers initially only wanted him to make a humorous clip to draw attention to the programme, but he actually proposed writing a script and producing a short film to make children’s dreams be “illuminated by their smiles”. VNS