Young directors to be honoured

June 1, 2006


(18-03-2006)

HA NOI — Younger Vietnamese film directors are expected to shine at tonight’s Viet Nam Cinematography Association’s annual awards ceremony in Ha Noi.

Young directors Dao Duy Phuc, Le Bao Trung and Ngo Quang Hai are all vying for the prestigious Golden Kite award, which is handed out annually by the association.

Up-and-coming director Dao Duy Phuc’s film 2 Trong 1 (2 in 1), a comedy that contains serious lessons, should be a strong favourite.

When making the film, Phuc moved from his home in Ha Noi to work in HCM City with private film company Thien Ngan.

Only two months after its release, the film attracted thousands of moviegoers around the country, earning nearly VND9 billion (US$560,000) in ticket sales from cinemas in Ha Noi and HCM City alone.

"I’m not sure how my film will fare at the ceremony, but it is one that young people enjoyed watching," said Phuc.

"We hope our new films signal a trend in the industry, and that the cultural authorities and senior officials of the Cinematography Association will take notice," said the 37-year-old director.

Another young director, Le Bao Trung, hopes his blockbuster De Muon (Hired Pregnancy) will set a trend for more commercially appealing films in a local industry that is still dominated by by somber and safe topics.

De Muon is a story about a young couple who pay a surrogate mother to have a baby for them. With its action and sexy scenes, it is the first film made by Vietnamese producers that will be restricted to viewers 18 years old and under.

De Muon helped its producer, the private film studio Phuoc Sang, earn more than VND10 billion ($625,000) in ticket sales.

Unlike these so-called entertainment films made by private companies, Chuyen Cua Pao (Pao’s Story) by actor-director Ngo Quang Hai features a theme that may not have as wide appeal as the more titillating De Muon.

Pao’s Story depicts the lives of remote villagers and a young girl named Pao, played by renowned actress Hai Yen, who was featured in the international hit The Quiet American, directed by Australian Philip Noyce.

Nine films produced by State-owned companies, including ones by older and more experienced directors Bui Cuong and Long Van, are expected to be tough competitors.

Other films considered heavyweight contenders are Song Trong So Hai (Living in Fear) by director Bui Thac Chuyen, and Giai Phong Sai Gon (To Liberate Sai Gon) by Long Van, both produced by the State-owned company Viet Nam Film Studio.

These films feature traditional themes about historical events and post-war problems.

The Cinematography Association will also hand out prizes to productions of different types, including TV series and documentaries.

The organising board and judges said this year’s awards would take into consideration both film quality and commercial appeal. — VNS

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