Over the past decade, Vietnam’s films that have become popular abroad are mostly independent ones. These movies were produced thanks to international support or private investors.
Vietnam has regularly brought its movies to regional and international film festivals and claimed some awards. Many Vietnamese movies have been introduced to international audiences, including “Living in fear”, “Pao’ story”, and “Endless fields”, but they have mainly been sold to local TV stations instead of being screened in foreign cinemas.
The number of Vietnamese movies picked up by international film distributors remains modest, with just a few to name, including the action movie “Furie”, and horror movies “Kuman Thoong” and “Face Off: the Walking Guests”. Director Luong Dinh Dung said that more investment is needed in the Vietnamese film industry.
“The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism should pay proper attention and money to movies distributed internationally. If the government invests around US$12 million for the film industry annually, it will strongly develop in the next decade.,” said Dung.
“If each year we invest into 10 films with the scripts and directors carefully selected, I believe our movies will achieve awards at renowned film festivals worldwide and create a firm trademark for themselves,” he said.
Producing films for export remains almost impossible. Vietnam’s “The Rebel” and “Owl and Sparrow” have been distributed in North America with small revenues.
“Following international trends is crucial for Vietnam’s film industry to grow. A movie with global messages will be preferred to those about local contents,” People’s Artist, Director Nguyen Thanh Van said.
A comprehensive and long-term strategy is much needed for Vietnam’s film industry, according to People’s Artist and cameraman Ly Thai Dung.
“Much should be done in terms of investment, guidance, and preparation for the young Vietnamese generations. It took the Republic of Korea 30 years to develop its film industry. Starting now with proper preparations, I think it will take Vietnam’s film industry around 20 to 30 years to grow,” he noted.
Artist Huu Bao said it’s of great importance to boost international integration and learn from film industries of advanced countries.
“Foreign films dare to explore a wide range of topics like racism or LGBT. Censoring needs to be done from a different viewpoint to allow us to touch upon so many sensitive topics. This can’t be changed overnight,” Bao stressed.