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Korean chain opens cinema system for screening artistic flicks by Vietnamese filmmakers

Thursday, January 01, 2015, 16:22 GMT+7

A multiplex cinema chain from South Korea has inaugurated a new system dedicated to showing artistic films created by young and independent Vietnamese filmmakers at tempting discounts. 

CJ CGV opened the CGV Art House system in its cinemas in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday and started to screen three artistic films there the same day, its representative said. 

This is a bid to support young Vietnamese filmmakers and help develop the local filmmaking industry, CJ CGV explained.

CGV Art House is now open in the 46-seat M Cinema – the Korean group’s most hi-end in Vietnam – and Cinema No. 2, both included in CGV Parkson Paragon, at 3 Nguyen Luong Bang Street, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City.

Cinema No. 5 of CGV Ho Guom Plaza, at 110 Tran Phu Street, Ha Dong District, Hanoi, has also been turned into a CGV Art House.

The system is meant for screening both Vietnamese and Korean artistic movies, the CJ CGV representative said.

The three films shown yesterday included “Canh Dong Bat Tan” (Floating Lives), a critically acclaimed Vietnamese film, and two Korean blockbusters: “Roaring Currents” and “The Pirate.”

“Chuyen Di Cuoi Cung Cua Chi Phung” (The Last Journey of Madam Phung), an enthusiastically embraced Vietnamese documentary on transgender people, will be screened in the CGV Art House system from Monday next week.

Tickets for flicks screened in CGV Art House cost only VND40,000 (US$1.9) apiece.

CJ CGV said the system will provide assistance for local independent filmmakers by screening and promoting their films.

The system is poised to organize two debut screenings for “Dap Canh Giua Khong Trung” (Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere) in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on January 21 before the Korean group shows it in its cinemas nationwide.

“Dap Canh Giua Khong Trung,” which is distributed independently by its director Nguyen Hoang Diep, earned a critics’ prize at the 2014 Venice International Festival and some other international prizes.

The Art House system will also supply a spur to young and independent Vietnamese filmmakers with a slew of activities such as gauging audiences’ reception and feedback on their films, mapping out film development orientations, and holding “Sunday Talk” exchanges which address topical issues in the local and global movie industry.

CJ CGV, which has branches in China and the United States, has consolidated its dominant position in the Vietnamese film market by opening three new cineplexes in the southern province of Dong Nai, the northern province of Quang Ninh, and Ho Chi Minh City last month.

The opening has raised CJ CGV’s total number of cinemas in Vietnam to 21, with 139 screening halls, including two 4DX rooms, forty-one 3D rooms, ninety-six 2D rooms, and roughly 20,000 seats.

The cinema chain caused quite a stir when it purchased Megastar, Vietnam’s once largest multiplex operator, in an over US$70 million deal in 2011.

Since the takeover, CJ CGV cinemas have screened more Korean movies alongside a large number of Hollywood pictures.

CJ CGV launched its representative office in Vietnam in the early 2000s.

The cinema operator aims to increase the number of its cineplexes in the Southeast Asian country to 30 by 2017.

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