Film festivals – tool to develop Vietnam’s cinema

Vietnam’s Cinematography Department and the Italian Embassy in the country jointly held a workshop in Hanoi on July 22 to share experience in using film festivals to develop the film industry and promote cinematic achievements.

Delegates to the event agreed that developing cinematography capacity through film festivals is an essential initiative in not only Vietnam and Italy, but also in Southeast Asia and Europe. They said holding festivals encourages film-makers to provide quality products that meet the increasing demands of audiences. 

Director of the Cinematography Department Ngo Phuong Lan gave an overview of Vietnam’s cinematography. 

The country held the first Vietnamese Film Festival in 1970, but similar events were not organised regularly for the following three and a half decades until 2007, when it has been biennially organised. 

In addition, the country has held three International Film Festivals in Hanoi with more films screened each year. The third festival attracted the participation of 130 films from 32 countries and territories. 

Cinematography is an important tool to boost cooperation and cultural exchange between Italy and Vietnam, said Italian Ambassador Cecilia Piccioni, adding that the Italian Government has a strategy to bring its films to foreign countries with priority given to ASEAN countries and Vietnam in particular. 

Director Nguyen Thanh Van stressed the need to design a specific strategy and invest in high-quality products to introduce Vietnamese films to other countries around the world. 

Vietnam now has more than 300 film studios with its film industry recording an annual growth of around 20%. Revenue from cinemas reached over US$80 million in 2014 and is estimated to reach US$100 million this year.

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