by Bach Lien
HA NOI (VNS)— If Viet Nam produced more artistic films, the country’s film industry could raise its profile both internationally and at home, said experts at an international conference held here yesterday as part of the five-day Ha Noi International Film Festival.
The conference, entitled Vietnamese Cinema in the Renewal Period, featured the participation of 200 delegates including Vietnamese and foreign artists, filmmakers and film producers. Participants assessed the development of Vietnamese cinema during the renewal period since 1986 and international integration.
According to screenwriter Nguyen Thi Hong Ngat, vice president of the Viet Nam Cinema Association, the renewal period marks the biggest variety in the themes of Vietnamese films so far, ranging from the war and post-war periods to countryside and contemporary life.
Some of the films produced in this period won prestigious national and international prizes. Examples include Thuong Nho Dong Que (Nostalgia for the Countryside), Mua Oi (Guava Season), Doi Cat (Sand Life), Thung Lung Hoang Vang (Deserted Valley), Hay Tha Thu Cho Em (Please Forget Me) and Nhung Nguoi Tho Se (The Sawyers).
“I hope that in the future Viet Nam will be able to produce more high-quality films which will be highly appreciated both here and abroad,” said Ngat.
Aruna Vasudev, founder-president of NETPAC and a member of the consulting board of the ongoing second Ha Noi International Film Festival, shares Ngat’s concern.
“Twenty years after watching war films like Thuong Nho Dong Que, I am still touched. Vietnamese directors should produce more such works,” she said. “Cinema is an excellent vehicle to help people get to know other countries and people. It’s Vietnamese cinema that attracted me to Viet Nam.”
She said she thinks that the second Ha Noi International Film Festival will have no difficulty attracting audiences if it screens more artistic movies.
Viet Nam’s renewal period also marked the appearance of commercial films and the development of the private film industry.
Films made by private producers, with a much bigger budget than those made by state-owned studios, have been much more successful in grasping market shares and catering to the tastes of audiences.
However, according to director Nguyen Vinh Son, a film is considered successful only when it can both attract audiences and be appreciated for its high quality.
“As a director, I will be proud if my films can win prizes. I’ll be proud each time I see the list of Vietnamese films to be screened in important international film festivals,” he said.
Some experts at the conference also expressed the wish that the country’s movie industry get more funding from the State and be more integrated with the international film world.
According to Jean-Christophe Bobiat, representative of Ubifrance, more Vietnamese films should be presented at international film festivals in foreign countries.
“Vietnamese directors should also co-produce films with foreign directors,” he said.
Many experts at the conference also agreed that Viet Nam should bring cinema into school to make the industry more attractive to the public.
“Vietnamese students should watch good films and learn how to think critically about them, so young people will know how to appreciate a good film,” said screenwriter Hoang Nhuan Cam. — VNS