Monday, August 1, 2005

Vietnamese film hurting

It's a problem that Thai filmmakers share -- local audiences failing to be compelled by locally produced films.

But the problem is more acute in Vietnam, where audiences tend to prefer Korean, Chinese and Thai films. This is according to the Viet Nam Cinema Workers' Association, which recently held a congress. Here's more:

A majority of film-goers said they do not appreciate Vietnamese films as they lack arresting details and fail to mention youth's current problems, therefore foreign films are their choice when they want to relax or amuse themselves.

People's Artist Tran The Dan, Vice Secretary of the Viet Nam Cinema Workers' Association, said it is important to make films entertaining to meet the public's demands, yet he rushed to add that it does not mean it is acceptable to lower the artistic quality to attract larger audiences.

According to Vice General Director of the Viet Nam Cinema Department Nguyen Thi Hong Ngat, the industry's main problem is a lack of quality scenarios; film makers continue to exploit old and easy themes such as the war and country life, while avoid issues of the modern society. A number of recent films popular among young people, which deal with modern issues, are only copycats of Chinese and Republic of Korea films.

Director Vuong Duc said the Vietnamese film industry is in need of new blood, both film makers and actors and actresses. He said there should be a long-term plan to seek and foster talents.

Additionally, Vietnam's Minister of Culture and Information Pham Quang Nghi was recently in Cambodia, where officials are exploring possible cooperation in the arts, something that will be cautiously looked into, given the two countries' prickly past relations.

Cambodians, meanwhile, are hoping to preserve and strengthen their culture, and there's a good website about that (thanks to the Santepheap blog). Also, Cambodia is planning a film festival at the end of November.

(Cross-posted at Rotten Tomatoes)

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