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Vietnam Film Festival may be held online

Filmmakers and experts told a conference in Hanoi yesterday that organising the Vietnam Film Festival online and building a "cinematic city" would help boost the festival's brand.

Director Luong Dinh Dung (centre) works on the scene of action film 578. It's scheduled to hit the cinemas at the end of this year. — Photo courtesy of himself

The Cinema Department, under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, hosted the conference to promote the festival and introduce Vietnam's culture and tourism to the world, upgrading the festival’s role in international integration.

Addressing the conference, director of the Cinema Department Vi Kien Thanh said the cinema industry had carved out an important role in the past 60 years.

“Since its establishment, the cinema industry has always helped build, protect and develop the country with excellent works imprinted in audiences’ mind,” he said.

“Many films received high appreciation among international audiences and critics. These works contributed in promoting images of Vietnam to the world.”

The Vietnam Film Festival was first launched in 1970 and has been held biennially since 2007, honouring many films with high-quality content and artistic creativity.

“The film festival aims to recognise achievements in cinema industry, honour the individuals’ attempt, create a chance to exchange between filmmakers, meet the audiences’ demand and boost the development of the national cinema industry,” said Thanh.

“The events also introduce the tourism and cultural potential of the host city where the film festival takes place.”

In the complex situation caused by COVID-19, director Luong Dinh Dung suggested the film festival go online.

Dung has attended many international film festivals and his film Cha Cõng Con (Father and Son) won awards at home and abroad.

“The world has entered Industry 4.0, seeing dramatic change in entertainment and communications,” he said.

“Watching films on the internet has become popular, especially when cinemas and theatres are closed due to the pandemic.”

Song Lang starring actor/singer Isaac has won 20 awards at international film festivals. —  Photo courtesy of Studio 68

“Many film festivals in the world have transformed to move online, so the Vietnam Film Festival should change to suit the circumstance and meet the audiences’ demand.”

Thanh Huong from the UNESCO Vietnam Office suggested building up cinematic cities like Sydney (Australia), Busan (South Korea) and Mumbai (India). These cities have been recognised by UNESCO, allowing good conditions to develop the local cinema industry.

“We can build a network of three-to-five cinematic cities that help position the Vietnamese national cinema brand,” she said.  VNS

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