return icon

Ban on drinking scenes on TV

As part of a new decree, actors on TV or in film will only be able to drink alcohol in scenes which depict historical figures or condemn this behaviour.

A drinking scene in the film Lời Nguyền Gia Tộc (Clan Curse). — Photo

Decree 24 details a number of articles of the Law on Prevention and Control of Alcoholic Harm, which restricts images of the consumption of alcohol in cinematic, theatrical and TV shows for viewers below 18.

Scenes in which an actor is drinking must not violate prohibitions such as forcing others to drink, depicting drinkers under 18 years old or employing labourers under 18 to participate in producing, trading and driving after drinking.

In addition, the films must not show images of actors drinking alcohol at health or educational centres; rehabilitation centres, centres for social protection, working places of state agencies, parks, bus stops, cinemas or theatres.

The decree also clarifies a number of other prohibitions, such as praising organisations and individuals for obtaining success from alcohol production and trading. The scenes of actors drinking alcohol for artistic purposes are only allowed in depicting historical figures, a certain historical period or criticising and condemning drinking alcohol.

According to Decree 24, the advertisement of drinks with less than 5.5 per cent alcohol by volume screened from 6pm to 9pm daily only applies to products of sponsors of regional, continental or world sporting events held in Vietnam.

The advertisement of drinks with below 15 per cent alcohol by volume must contain warnings; for example, drinking alcohol might cause traffic accidents, affect foetal health and people under 18 must not drink alcohol.

To advertise on radio or television, these warnings must be clearly read at the same speed as other content. Those on online newspapers or social networks must have visible colours, accounting for at least ten per cent of the advertising area.

The government requires businesses to have measures to prevent people under 18 from accessing alcohol on social networks and online newspapers. Enterprises selling alcohol online must run software to check the age of buyers, ensuring they are over 18.

In June 2019, the National Assembly passed the Law on Prevention and Control of Alcoholic Harm.

Barrier to creativity?

However, the restriction of drinking scenes in films has not received the support of many Vietnamese directors, who are concerned it might restrict the artistic creativity of the filmmakers.

“Decree 24 is still ambiguous and contains many limitations,” said director Phan Dang Di in an interview with Phụ Nữ HCM City (HCM City Women) newspaper.

“Wine and beer exist in daily activities, so will the films will be true to life when the drinking scenes are indispensable but they are removed? For example, the scene of a couple drinking wine on their wedding night – which is not intended to criticise the behaviour.”

He said that the restriction on drinking scenes would cause difficulties for directors, such as how to portray a wedding scene in the countryside without wine, a scene in a bar, or a meeting between gangsters.

“If there are no more explicit provisions, Decree 24 will continue to restrict cinematic creativity, putting pressure on filmmakers and the culture management authority,” the director of Bi, Don’t Be Afraid added.

Director Luu Trong Ninh asserted that he would comply with the law but stressed the need to clarify the restrictions mentioned in the decree.

“Not only Vietnam, many countries also have regulations for scenes involving alcohol; however, they have always been obvious about what is forbidden. For example, it would be easier for the filmmakers if the regulations allowed five per cent of alcohol drinking on screen, filmed the characters drinking in small glasses and specified the volume of alcohol. Decree 24 still has ambiguous content,” he said.

According to director Mai The Hiep, the decree still contains one easy-to-understand point for filmmakers – if the film has a scene of drinking alcohol, it must be determined from the beginning that it is aimed at viewers above 18.

“Decree 24 states that images of drinking wine or beer will be restricted if the audience is below 18. Therefore, if a film is required to have such scenes, it should be labelled for audiences of 18 plus. And vice versa, the directors must consider thoroughly because the audience under that age is likely to follow the behaviour of characters,” he said. — VNS

Ban on drink driving to take effect early next month

Ban on drink driving to take effect early next month

The Law on Preventing and Combating the Harmful Effects of Liquor and Beer will take effect early next month, imposing a blanket ban on drink driving.  


Vietnamese banks that 'disappear' from the market

Some banks used to be very popular, with hundreds of thousands of customers, but they gradually disappeared from the market because of many reasons.

Discovering Hanoi’s famous incense making village

The craft village with a tradition of more than 100 years impresses visitors for its space that is filled with vibrant colors such as blue, red, yellow, etc. of beautifully shaped bouquets of incense.

Vietnam to reassert its position on the world coffee map

Vietnam is the world's second largest coffee exporter, but its impact on the world coffee market is not commensurate with its position, experts say.


Coffee exports to Netherlands enjoy three-digit growth

Youngest female Vietnamese Associate Professor receives Kovalevskaia Awards 2022

Prof. Dr. Le Minh Thang on March 7, 2023 was presented the 2022 Kovalevskaia Awards 2022 by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Third pedestrian street opens in Hue City

The Hai Ba Trung Pedestrian Street was opened on Sunday evening in Hue City, becoming the third walking street in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Entertainment and cultural events of the week (March 27-April 2)

Entertainment and cultural events in Vietnam's major cities on March 27-April 2.


Vietnam wins 17 prizes at International Robothon 2023

K'Duong breaks three youth weightlifting world records

Vietnamese weightlifter K'Duong broke three youth 55kg world records during the 2023 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Youth Championships on March 26 which is taking place in Albania.

Struggling hoteliers seek Government support to revive from COVID-19 crisis

Small- and medium-sized hotels in HCM City are struggling with low occupancy rates and labour shortages, and are in need of support to recover from a COVID-19-induced slump, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.

Lion Championship MMA returns, first fight in Hanoi on April 1

The second season of the Lion Championship mixed martial arts will be back with great fighters and frightening fights in April.

Driftwood space launches in Hoi An

The first ever wood recycle space – driftwood village’s studio – has been launched in the ancient’s Cam Ha Commune on the most favourite bicycle riding road connecting the Old Quarter and An Bang beach.

Hoi An to host International Choir Competition

The event has received registrations from 20 teams representing nine countries and territories, and will feature 13 events with eight grades held at the city’s theatre.

Big race for investment in e-commerce logistics

An increase in online sales has put pressure on the logistics system, thereby triggering the race to invest in Vietnam's e-commerce logistics, according to insiders.

Banks underwriting bonds should buy back bonds: VN central bank

Commercial banks that underwrite and sell corporate bonds have to buy them back if investors so demand, the central bank has said.