Vietnamese film industry faces shortage of talents

As Vietnamese films grow in leaps and bounds, the lack of good-quality film-makers and crews is becoming more evident than ever.

Behind the scene of “Secret of the Wind” (Bi mat cua gio), a training field for young talents

The Vietnamese film industry has regularly released about 40 feature-length films each year since 2015, an impressive leap in terms of quantity.

More notably, a generation of overseas film makers including Charlie Nguyen, Victor Vu, or Ngo Thanh Van has breathed new life into Vietnamese cinema upon returning to their homeland. Changes in techniques and crafts are even more noticeable in films with crews of foreigners.

However, considering the overall market’s size and potential, there is still a shortage of adequate human resources. Director and producer Nhat Trung expressed that the industry is lacking good writers, tight scripts and variety of actors.

“Without a decent crew of screenwriters, low-quality scripts are inevitable, and directors would continue to churn out films that are made for nobody”, said an anonymous director.

The reality is that lots of formally trained graduates of film studies are not working in the industry, leading to the lack in both numbers and quality of potential members for Vietnamese film crews.

Budding young actors, directors, and screenwriters have been spotted here and there among the annual releases of domestic movies, but not everyone can put up constantly great performances without long-term professional support.

The solution for talent seekers of cinema must encompass both the discovery of capable persons and the creation of reasonable policies for training them, according to Vietnam’s CJ CGV Publishing Director Nguyen Hoang Hai.

Danish expert Jakob Kirstein Hogel, when studying the Vietnamese film industry, stated two essential elements when training film-makers, the first being dumbing down theoretical studies and focusing on field practice. Good filmmaking skills include knowing how to run low-cost productions that can still compete in parts with heavily-funded foreign movies, he said.

The second thing to consider is how to translate young people’s passion for films and acting onto the big screen through good scripts, exceptional productions and passionate directors, so that they are motivated to pursue the career for life.

By 2026, Vietnam expects to send abroad for training 930 talents in arts fields including cinema, said Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ta Quang Dong.

Drafts of the revised Film Law also hints at Governmental financial supports in improving teaching methods at national film schools, aiding excellent students in studying film-making techniques and production management, and distributing domestic films in countries with a developed movie industry.