Three aspiring, confident filmmakers, who were all born in the 1980s, shared their opinions about the current situation and prospects of the country’s film industry.
Doan Tran Anh Tuan was only 25 when he ‘conducted’ the 3D animated film titled “Duoi bong cay” (In the tree shade), which won several prizes, including Best Director at the 2011 YxineFF, an online short film festival, and caused quite a stir among netizens for its astounding professionalism.
Tuan put the lack of appeal of local animation compared to foreign films such as “Despicable Me”, “Turbo” and “Monsters University” down to the serious shortage of cartoons, let alone good ones, that are screened at cinemas.
“The local animation industry is in dire need of dedicated, capable personnel and a working environment which is balanced in both idealism and practicality to draw such talents,” Tuan noted.
The 26-year-old director also sees a multitude of cooperation opportunities and new technological applications, a highly competitive market as well as the audiences’ ability to make smart, tasteful choices regarding films, which serve as both opportunities and challenges for local filmmakers.
He added that though his “Duoi bong cay”, which was shown online only, didn’t provide him with direct benefits, it has given him and Colory, his company, huge opportunities to approach potential clients.
Meanwhile, 30-year-old Nghiem Quynh Trang also struck a lasting impression on the jury and audiences with her ingenious fusion of a feature film and a documentary in her film titled “Mot cuoc tham van” (An interrogation), her graduation work from a French film school, which brought her the Best Script award at the 2011 YxineFF.
Trang, who studied in France and currently lives in Prague, Czech Republic, began her filming career by making documentaries before switching to documentary-like feature films such as “Mot cuoc tham van”. She said she is greatly inspired by French director Chris Marker’s works from the 1960s, which fuse the two genres.
“The local industry has been renewed with such directors and films as Bui Thac Chuyen’s “Choi voi” (Disoriented) and Phan Dang Di’s “Bi, dung so” (Bi, don’t be afraid) and the wave of overseas directors like Victor Vu and Charlie Nguyen. The films made by our generation will naturally stand out from those produced by our predecessors due to different training, perspectives and living conditions,” Trang stressed.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Khac Huy, 27, whose critically-acclaimed film “Duong dua” (The racetrack) recently hit local cinemas and earned such poor revenues that it was withdrawn from several cinemas after one week of screening, said he was partly to blame for the film’s box office failure.
“I wished to express myself in the local movie scene and prove to everyone that young Vietnamese people really love movie making. However, while I was too engrossed in learning about different cultures in the world during my years studying in Australia, I neglected the study of my country’s culture and Vietnamese youths’ identities. This is my biggest flaw, which I only realized after the screening of ’Duong dua’,” Huy shared.
He added that the big lesson he has drawn from the failure of his film is that film makers and their works really need interaction with today’s youths, who make up the majority of the local movie market.
“My peers and I, who were born in the 1980s, are innovative and mature and serve as the bridge between our experienced predecessors and the highly dynamic 1990s-born generations of film directors,” he noted.