Friday, April 11, 2008

Gloomy season for Vietnamese films

This time last year Vietnamese film producers were preparing many films for the summer, for example The Rebel, Saigon Eclipse, Muoi, Death’s Dance, Mystic House, Spring of Injustice Soul, and cinemas gave priority to locally-made films. But it is quite different this year.

Chanh Phuong Film decided to delay screening “The Owl and The Sparrow” at cinemas from March till October. “Little Heart”, which recently won the Silver Kite Award 2007, went to cinemas on March 23 but it failed to attract Vietnamese audiences. At present, there are only two new films planned for this summer, “Die at Midnight” and “Four experiments in Wedding Night” by Chanh Tin Film, which are scheduled for introduction on April 30. 45-minute “Die at Midnight” is a thriller film while “Four Experiments in Wedding Night” is a funny, romantic film.

Some film producers previously introduced some summer film projects but they have not been completed. Phuoc Sang Film’s Miss Audition, a film for teenagers, doesn’t have a script yet while Thien Thi Company’s “Ghost” project has had no new news to report.

It is said that the failure of last year’s summer film season made local film producers hesitate to invest in new film projects this year. Asked why he doesn’t have summer films, the owner of Phuoc Sang Film said between jest and earnest that as prices are escalating, he wonders whether people’s minds are on entertainment films.

While they have neglected making films for this summer, film producers are working on film projects for lunar New Year 2009. The most heralded project is “Song Long Anh Hung”, a cooperation product between Nam Phuong Film and Hong Kong’s Del Production. Kicked off on February 14, the film is made based on legends about General Hong Thuy Nguyen Son.

With investment of VND15 billion ($940,000), the film crew gathers many famous names from Hong Kong and Vietnam. The film is being shot at various places in Vietnam and China. If this project is completed on schedule, it will be the most anticipated film this lunar New Year.

Meanwhile Chanh Phuong Film started shooting “14 Days” on April 4. This is a film about a young overseas Vietnamese who has a 14-day vacation in Vietnam, where he falls in love with a rural girl.

Other film firms like Senafilm, Thien Ngan, Phuoc Sang also have film projects for the 2009 lunar New Year but they say they will kick these off in June or August.

For Vietnamese film producers the summer is always quiet and only Tet (lunar New Year) is their good season.
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