HCMCITY— Filming of the first scenes of a documentary by veteran director and producer Hồ Ngọc Xum of HCM City will begin next week.
The film, Văn Hóa Nam Bộ (Cultures of South Việt Nam), features stories and events about Cửu Long Delta cultures, southern people and their lifestyles. The history of Gia Định-Sài Gòn over 300 years is featured, as well as temples and folk festivals of the southern region.
“Văn Hóa Nam Bộ is like a book that recalls the process by which southern people in the past claimed new land,” said Xum, 65, who has 45 years of experience in the industry
Xum spent four years preparing for the film.
Xum was born into farmer family in Phú Tân District in An Giang Province in 1955. He graduated in philosophy from Sài Gòn Literature University. In 1977, he moved to Hà Nội to study film directing at the Theatre & Cinematography University.
Xum has worked on more than 120 films, TV shows and documentaries, and many research works used at art schools and film academies and studios.
His highlighted films, such as Ngọc Lửa Krong Jung (Flame of Krong Jung) released in 1980, Cuộc Phiêu Lưu Của Hai Lúa (The Adventures of Farmers) in 2009 and Ngọn Cỏ Gió Đùa (Life Goes On) in 2016, won top prizes for best feature films and TV shows and best director at national film festivals Cánh Diều Vàng (Golden Kite) and Bông Sen (Lotus).
One of his favourite series, Lòng Dạ Đàn Bà (The Mind of Women), a 30-part TV show, produced and released in 2011 by the HCM City Television Studio (TFS).
The work has been rebroadcast many times, attracting millions of viewers from different generations.
The film is based on the same book by the famous late author Hồ Biểu Chánh, a leading writer from the southern region in the 1930s. It portrays the lives of local farmers, focusing on poor women living in Cửu Long region.
Impressed by Chánh’s novels the first time he read them, Xum asked the author’s family for permission to film the books.
“Xum’s films about the delta region and its people feature folk songs and beauty with picturesque scenes of rivers, forests, boats and buffaloes,” said film critic Phi Điểu.— VNS
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