Box-office flops still the norm

Grim picture: Dustin Nguyen in Lua Phat (Once Upon A Time). Although the movie has been hailed by critics, it has struggled to generate sales at the box office. — File Photo

Not all private studios are reaping the gains of making blockbusters HCM CITY (VNS) — With a desire to make quality films and earn high profits from commercially successful movies, many private studios have produced more feature films for local cinemas. However, after failing to sell tickets for some of these films, producers are beginning to realise it's a risky business. Private studios have released many interesting films, most of them entertainment, in recent years. Their films with innovative themes and content have contributed significantly in drawing back audiences to cinemas. Studios started making entertainment films after the huge success of director Le Hoang's Gai Nhay (Bar Girls), a controversial film on bars, drugs and HIV, released in 2003. The film's producer, the HCM City Giai Phong (Liberation) Film Company, earned a record US$700,000 from Bar Girls. At that time, many filmmakers said they were happy to see that locally-made films finally had a public … [Read more...]

Lucrative comedies to fill screens for Lunar New Year

As the Lunar New Year approaches, studios plan to churn out lighthearted comedies, which are cheap to make and consistently turn a profit, rather than more challenging dramas or other kinds of features. Film producers plan to release more comedies during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, as they have become more popular in recent years. The comedy "Nha co nam nang Tien" (Five Fairies in the House), for example, has brought more than 52 billion VND (2.4 million USD) to Song Vang Film Production Co., the highest turnover for any film produced in Vietnam. Directed by Tran Ngoc Giau, the film includes well-known comedians, as well as young and beautiful singers. "We made the costumes and the setting of +Nha co nam nang Tien+ very simple," Giau said. "The film's success depends totally on the artists." Well-known comedian Hoai Linh, along with many other actors, will appear in several comedies to be screened in cinemas in Ho Chi Minh City during Tet in late January. … [Read more...]

Lucrative comedies to fill screens for Tet

Comedy gold:With a cast of well-known singers and comedians, Five Fairies in the House raked in the highest turnover for any film produced in Viet Nam. — File Photo

As the Lunar New Year approaches, studios plan to churn out lighthearted comedies, which are cheap to make and consistently turn a profit, rather than more challenging dramas or other kinds of features. Film producers plan to release more comedies during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, as they have become more popular in recent years. The comedy Nha Co Nam Nang Tien (Five Fairies in the House), for example, has brought more than VND52 billion (US$2.4 million) to Song Vang Film Production Co., the highest turnover for any film produced in Viet Nam. Directed by Tran Ngoc Giau, the film include well-known comedians, as well as young and beautiful singers. "We made the costumes and the setting of Nha Co Nam Nang Tien very simple," Giau said. "The film's success depends totally on the artists." Well-known comedian Hoai Linh, along with many other actors, will appear in several comedies to be screened in cinemas in HCM City during Tet in late January. According to the schedule, the … [Read more...]

Competitors for the Golden Kite Awards 2013 announced

"Scandal" is one of two films by Victor Vu that will compete   for the Golden Kite Awards this year.

VietNamNet Bridge - In the list of 10 movies nominated for the Golden Kite Award 2013 there are not the films that were released during the lunar New Year holiday, which earned very high revenue. The ten nominees include: "Dam Me" (Passion) by Phi Tien Son, Cat Nong (Hot Sand) by Le Hoang, "Cuoi Ngay Keo Lo" (Marry Me Soon) by Charlie Nguyen, "Lac Loi" (Lost) by Nhue Giang, "Danh Cho Thang Sau (For June) by Nguyen Huu Tuan, "Gia Su Nu Quai" (Female Tutor) by Le Bao Trung, Scandal - Secrets of the Red Carpet by Victor Vu, "Thien Menh Anh Hung" (Blood Letter) by Victor Vu, and Nha Co Nam Nang Tien (The Family with Five Fairies) by People's Artist Tran Ngoc Giau and Lay Chong Nguoi Ta (In the Name of Love) by Luu Huynh. Mr. Nguyen Van Tan, Chief of the Office for the Vietnam Cinematography Association, the award organizer, confired that this is the official and the last list. Though the organizer extended the deadline for submission in order to facilitate private film studios but … [Read more...]

Films compete for Golden Kite award 2013

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(Cinet) - On February 26, Vietnam Cinematography Association announced the list of plastic film competing for the Golden Kite award 2013. The ten nominees include: "Dam Me" (Passion) by Phi Tien Son, Cat Nong (Hot Sand) by Le Hoang, "Cuoi Ngay Keo Lo" (Marry Me Soon) by Charlie Nguyen, "Lac Loi" (Lost) by Nhue Giang, "Danh Cho Thang Sau (For June) by Nguyen Huu Tuan, "Gia Su Nu Quai" (Female Tutor) by Le Bao Trung, Scandal - Secrets of the Red Carpet by Victor Vu, "Thien Menh Anh Hung" (Blood Letter) by Victor Vu, and Nha Co Nam Nang Tien (The Family with Five Fairies) by People's Artist Tran Ngoc Giau and Lay Chong Nguoi Ta (In the Name of Love) by Luu Huynh. In the list of 10 movies, two belong to the Vietnamese American director Victor Vu: Scandal - Red Carpet Secret and Blood Letter. Scandal was released in October 2012 but Blood Letter was released in 2012 but it was produced in 2011 so it is still unclear whether Blood Letter is eligible for the competition or … [Read more...]

Golden Kite Awards 2013 attracts 11 feature films

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Nhan Dan - Eleven feature films will compete for the prestigious Golden Kite Awards 2013, which will take place in Ho Chi Minh City on March 9 as an event to mark Vietnam Cinematography Day (March 15). The 11 entries include Cat Nong (Hot Sand), Dam Me (Passion), Cuoi Ngay Keo Lo (Marry Me Soon), Lac Loi (Lost), Danh Cho Thang Sau (For June), Scandal - Secrets of the Red Carpet, Lay Chong Nguoi Ta (In the Name of Love), Gia Su Nu Quai (Female Tutor), Nha Co Nam Nang Tien (The Family with Five Fairies), Thien Menh Anh Hung (Blood Letter) and Mua He Lanh (Cold Summer). In addition to the 11 films, this year's awards competition will feature 18 TV series, 24 short films, 37 documentaries, 13 cartoons, ten scientific films and three research projects on cinematic theory and criticism. The cinematic works will be judged by a nine-member panel, including Meritorious Artist Nguyen Vinh Son, People's Artist Dang Nhat Minh, and director-cameraman Nguyen Duc Viet and the young … [Read more...]

Vietnamese movies enjoy Tet box office success

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My Nhan Ke (The Lady Assassin), a 3D Vietnamese martial arts film featuring local models, pocketed VND 35 billion (US$ 1.7 mil) in revenue by Feb 13, according to its distributor. Out of the ten movies which hit local screens this Tet, only four are Vietnamese flicks. However, they have been big hits with local audiences. According to My Nhan Ke’s distributor, the flick has been able to earn so much because it was released in both 2D and 3D, with tickets for 3D usually costing twice as much. It is estimated that roughly 400,000 people have seen this high-profile film. According to Mariam, the director of Megastar cinemas, the company’s Tet revenue has risen by 28% compared to the same period last year, mostly thanks to the resounding success of Vietnamese films. The comedy Nha Co Nam Nang Tien (The House With Five Fairies), which features famed comedian Hoai Linh, is currently topping the popularity list at most cinemas. It also tops Megastar’s current … [Read more...]

HCM City studios vie for holiday patrons

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HCM CITY (VNS)- Private film producers in HCM City are working hard to release new productions for the festive season during Tet (Lunar New Year), creating a stiff competition in domestic market. Thien Ngan Film Studio spends VND17 billion (US$800,000) on their first 3D production, My Nhan Ke (Beauty Trap).—Photos Galaxy Studio Leading companies Thien Ngan (Galaxy) Film Studio and Phuoc Sang now must compete with newcomers in the market, Century Star and Song Vang Production. According to Song Vang Production, the firm's Nha Co Nam Nang Tien (Family with Five Fairies) has been successful because of its comedic flair. Also, the large cast of famous performers and singers has helped to sell more tickets. The film depicts the lives of five beautiful girls who are all orphaned and poor but later become famous singers and fashion models. They face many challenges to fulfill their dreams. To guarantee the film's success, the producer has invited well-known comedians Hoai Linh and Viet … [Read more...]

Filmmakers compete for the limelight this holiday season

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HCM CITY (VNS)- Private film producers in HCM City are working hard to release new productions for the festive season during Tet (Lunar New Year), creating a stiff competition in domestic market. Leading companies Thien Ngan (Galaxy) Film Studio and Phuoc Sang now must compete with newcomers in the market, Century Star and Song Vang Production. According to Song Vang Production, the firm's Nha Co Nam Nang Tien (Family with Five Fairies) has been successful because of its comedic flair. Also, the large cast of famous performers and singers has helped to sell more tickets. The film depicts the lives of five beautiful girls who are all orphaned and poor but later become famous singers and fashion models. They face many challenges to fulfill their dreams. To guarantee the film's success, the producer has invited well-known comedians Hoai Linh and Viet Huong, both involved in the theatre at home and abroad, to play leading roles. Directed by People's Artist Tran Ngoc … [Read more...]

Vietnamese movies woo foreign fans

The film Ao Lua Ha Dong (Photo: VNS) Local studios that have poured millions of US dollars in recent films are seeking foreign companies to distribute their films globally with the hope of recouping their initial investments. Ao Lua Ha Dong (The White Silk Dress), with a budget of 1 million USD (16 billion USD), has been sold to distributors in Republic of Korea and Taiwan, according to Phuoc Sang Film Studio, which produced the film. The film won the Qudience Award at the International Film Festival in Busan, RoK last year. The Chanh Phuong Film Studio, which produced Dong Mau Anh Hung (The Rebel) with the record budget of 1.5 million USD, has offered to sell the copyright of the film to international distributors in Los Angeles, California. The Rebel, a Vietnamese action thriller, made its world debut at the third biennial Vietnamese International Film Festival in Los Angeles in April. Innovative themes and content have lure moviegoers back to cinemas in recent years, but the … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News Headlines 3/7

Vietnamese photographer wins gold medal in Paris awards Vietnamese photographer Tran Viet Van has won a gold medal at the Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Px3) 2014 for a series of five photos featuring war soldiers. A press release announced the names of the winners this morning. Besides the gold medal in the Portraiture - Other - P category, Vans set of photos entitledWar Commander at Time of Peacealso received a bronze medal in the Press - Other category. Both categories are meant for professional photographers. … [Read more...]

Cash witches in Vietnamese cinema – P1

In the past, film makers received monthly wages and royalties from film studios to produce movies that were sponsored by the state, shown just few times in the cinema, and then stored in the library permanently. Comedian Thai Hoa in his second blockbuster "Long Ruoi" (Big Boss) The time of such subsidies has passed. Vietnamese moviemakers now focus on profits as their top priority, and an individual's effort is calculated by how much money one brings to a film, rather than art values. From money-machine comedians After working in drama theaters for a long time, it was not until he joined big-screen cinema with "De Mai Tinh" (Fool for Love) that Thai Hoa started to shine. De Mai Tinh is arguably one of Vietnam's most profitable movies, raking in 30 to 40 VND billions (1.5 to 2.0 USD millions). And Thai Hoa has become the "gold comedian" that every film producers would want to have. Thus, his second blockbuster "Long Ruoi" (Big Boss) was composed to make the most of … [Read more...]

Festival to honour national cinema

Seventeen films will compete for the Golden Lotus award at the 17th National Film Festival to be held in the central province of Phu Yen next month. Themed "For a Renovated and Integrated Vietnamese Cinema", the festival will run from December 15-17. The films are set to be diversified and distinct, with little difference between those produced by private studios and State-owned facilities. "The festival will erase the preconception that films produced by State-owned studios are main stream while private studios focus on entertainment," said veteran director Hai Ninh. Around 10 out of the total number of films will be those of private studios including Thien Su 99 (Angel 99) and Cong Chua Teen va Ngu Ho Tuong (Teenage Princess and Five Bodyguards), which won the Vietnam Cinematography Association promising actress award in 2009, both produced by the Phuoc Sang Studio. "I'm producing films without Cinematography Department support. Attending the festival is my sole … [Read more...]

Box office reality bites filmmakers hard

A scene from Lua Phat (Once Upon a Time in Vietnam), a highly anticipated action fantasy which grossed one third of its US$1.42 million investment after premiered last August

This year's much-anticipated action fantasy, "Lua Phat" (Once Upon a Time in Vietnam), which premiered last August, has brought back just one third of its US$1.42 million investment. Yet, this is better than nothing. It could have been worse. The $500,000 action flick about gang fights in Ho Chi Minh City's Chinatown, "Bui doi Cho Lon," ended up being banned from screens in June after the censors found it too violent, even after the main slashes were cut. "Duong dua" (The Race), the next big action flick, also ended short at the box office despite gathering generous praise from critics. The series of losses, not surprisingly, have given filmmakers pause. Should they pursue commercially successful formulas or try to combine their artistic sense and public interest? Is the latter option feasible? Can it be done? Some people say money has become dearer and comedy is the way to success at the box office, because people like to laugh. Vu Thi Bich Lien, director of Song Vang Film … [Read more...]

Holiday movie fare conquers box office

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Many private studios that spent a fortune on trailers and TV and newspaper advertisements before they released films for Tet (Lunar New Year holidays) have hit the jackpot. Winning formula: Thien Menh Anh Hung (Born to Be a Hero), a kung-fu film co-produced by the Saiga and Phuong Nam studios, was released during Tet. — File Photo Phuoc Sang Entertainment Company's full-length comedy Hello Co Ba (Hello Ms Ba), for instance, raked in VND25 billion (US$1.2 million) at the box office in just nine days starting on January 20. Luu Phuoc Sang, the company owner, says: "We're very hopeful the number will shoot up further." Phuoc Sang, whose film was not as high-budget as those made by some other studios like Thien Ngan and Saiga Film, has set its sights on collecting a further VND5 billion. The film is about the life of Tu Lan (played by comedian Hoai Linh), a farmer who migrates from his native village to HCM City to work as a fortune-teller. After bitter failures, he returns … [Read more...]

Records Get Due Recognition

Biggest Buddha vase

The Viet Nam Book of Records (Vietbooks) hosted the fifth Viet Nam National Record Holders Meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday September 10. The occasion was used to announce the formation of the Viet Nam National Record Holders Club and the 2007 plans of Vietbooks and the Phuoc Sang Entertainment Company for promoting record-setting feats. Among the 33 individual and group recipients of the Certificates of Viet Nam Record and trophies were Professor Tran Van Khe, cosmonaut Pham Tuan and the sculptors Tran Giang Nam, To Sanh, and Huynh Van Da. Biggest Buddha vase Hoang Gia Thuan took three months to make a 500-kilogram red ceramic vase with carved images of the Buddha. Measuring 2.5 meters in height and one meter across, it was baked at 1,000oC for 10 days. Biggest stamp painting It took retired teacher Dang Nhu Hoa three months and VND10 million to paste 6,800 stamps to create a 1x1.6-meter picture of King Quang Trung on the battlefield.Biggest brick picture Directed by … [Read more...]

Famous Korean actors to join HCMC charity football game

A group of famous South Korean actors will arrive in Vietnam to take part in a friendly football game this Saturday, July 30 at Ho Chi Minh City's Thong Nhat Stadium to raise money for Agent Orange victims. Fan can still get their free tickets to the charity football game at the Saigon and Nam Quang Theaters. Twenty-four Korean actors including Lee Deok Hwa, Kim Se Jun, Lee Han Ewi, Baek Joon Gi, Song Kyung Chul and Kim Hyeong Il, who have become familiar faces with Vietnamese television audiences, will play against their Vietnamese counterparts. … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News Headlines 3/7

Vietnamese photographer wins gold medal in Paris awards Vietnamese photographer Tran Viet Van has won a gold medal at the Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Px3) 2014 for a series of five photos featuring war soldiers. A press release announced the names of the winners this morning. Besides the gold medal in the Portraiture - Other - P category, Vans set of photos entitledWar Commander at Time of Peacealso received a bronze medal in the Press - Other category. Both categories are meant for professional photographers. … [Read more...]