“Big path” needed to promote Vietnamese cinema
It is time for Vietnam to establish a plan to promote the country's cinema at major international film events in a methodical manner, providing all necessary information to filmmakers. This requires the role of the governing or related agencies such as the Cinema Department, the Department of International Cooperation, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Vietnamese cinema has been promoted abroad for a long time, but it has not been systematically invested in like in many other countries. It is still only promoted by businesses, units, or individual artists and filmmakers.
It is time for Vietnam to have official national pavilions at major international film festivals, under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and related units.
The opinion was given by director Phan Dang Di at the International Film Workshop “Policies and solutions to develop the film industry in Vietnam and Southeast Asia”, recently held in Hanoi by the Vietnam Association of Film Promotion and Development (VAFPD), the Danish Embassy in Vietnam, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Representative Office in Vietnam.
Director Phan Dang Di, a famous filmmaker, is also one of the filmmakers with experience in finding and calling for capital from foreign funds to make films.
He said that the important thing in promoting cinema abroad is to have a methodical plan. Participating in many prestigious international film festivals and events is a way to create many opportunities to introduce and produce or co-produce films, he added.
However, at present, Vietnam is not regularly participating in international and regional film festivals and fairs. At international cinema events in particular, there is no national pavilion to introduce and provide information about Vietnamese cinematographic works, filmmaking contexts, film-making conditions, or preferential policies in film production cooperation. Meanwhile, many cinemas in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines have national pavilions at such fairs.
Director Phan Dang Di said that this is a pity because a national pavilion can comprehensively and officially introduce the country's cinema to foreign filmmakers and audiences, providing more information to international filmmakers if they want to collaborate or film in Vietnam. According to him, the Cinema Department, the International Cooperation Department, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism need to do these things right away. The most important thing is to provide information and establish open policies for filmmakers.
Responding to the opinion of director Phan Dang Di, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong, who is also directly in charge of the film industry, said that he supported the idea of having a national pavilion at international film festivals, fairs and events.
Currently, Vietnam has a legal foundation. The Law on Cinematography passed by the National Assembly in 2022 has many new things, both in comparison with the old law and in general comparison with cinema in the region.
Secondly, on the Law on Public-Private Partnership, Deputy Minister Ta Quang Dong said that socialisation resources have not been mobilized for film development, if any, it will create more resources to promote and organise Vietnam's cinema booths, bringing actors, producers, films to introduce at film festivals, events.
Attracting more resources is also extremely important for film production activities, release, promotion, international cooperation, human resource training. This is something that the management agencies will promote, build, find the appropriate implementation direction.
Vietnamese cinema is still trying to find its way to the world. Last year, there were many bright spots in Vietnamese films that found their place in the international arena such as 'Tro Tan Ruc Ro' (Glorious Ashes) and 'Nhung Dua Tre Trong Suong' (Children of the Mist). Hopefully, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnamese film and film companies and units will soon step onto the "big path".