by Xuan Hiep & Thanh Thuy
KISS: Keep it simple, sensitive
FirstKISS Vietnam, a three-minute film based on the movie First Kiss directed by American Talia Pilieva, is rapidly gaining hits after being uploaded to YouTube on April 16. Produced by Nguyen Minh Tuan and his staff as part of the Safe Sex Project, the film is a follow-up of his Condom Project in 2011.
"I want to talk about sensitive matters in the most interesting and creative way possible," Tuan says.
The short black-and-white film features three real-life couples and 14 young people who were strangers prior to the shoot. Most of them were found via Tuan's Facebook page.
Tuan's aim in making the film was to communicate the importance of love and caring among young people, especially those in the LGBT community.
Truong Quoc Thang, who appears in the film, says he became involved because of the work's positive message.
Over the three years it took to develop the Condom Project, three fashion collections made of condoms by Tuan have been modelled by famous Vietnamese celebrities, including Tra My, Viet Nam's Next Top Model 2011, and actress Kim Hien.
Last year, Tuan, who studies industrial design at Van Lang University in HCM City, was included in the Vietnamese Guinness Book of Records after releasing a fashion collection that used 25,000 condoms.
Reality shows: real or fake?
In recent years, reality shows based on successful programmes in other countries have been a hit on Vietnamese television.
One of the latest shows is X-Factor, organised by Viet Nam Television (VTV) and Cat Tien Sa Company.
On a recent broadcast of the show, the panel of judges and audience were moved to tears by a masked woman, Nguyen Thi Huyen Minh, who said that she was from a poor family and that her face had been deformed in a work accident.
After the show, the truth was revealed via media reports that her real name was Anh Thuy, and that she had been working as a singer for years and was a former member of the famous band May Trang.
In a press release sent to the media, the organisers tried to downplay the problem, acknowledging that they had not checked up on the information supplied by Anh Thuy. They assured viewers that she was no longer on the show.
On the next show broadcast, the organisers gave an official explanation and apologised to the audience. But that failed to satisfy the public.
"It reminded me of the scandal on the TV show The Voice two years ago when an audio clip uploaded by an unknown person on the internet showed unfair manipulation of the results, contradicting the organisers' claims that the show was impartial and based on the judges' choices in the first two rounds," said Ho Anh Quan of HCM City's Binh Tan District.
"I'm now really disappointed in such TV shows," he said, adding that regaining the confidence of the public would not be easy. — VNS