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Heritage Magazine - First Time Filmmakers


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Article in Heritage Magazine about the five Discovery Channel project involving five Vietnamese Filmmakers

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Heritage Magazine - First Time Filmmakers

  1. 1. =-=-:---€=-=J; :l:1:l.:t ; ,:':1",:: ':.;' TheFirstTime F,ilmmakersprogramgives vietnamese filmmakersa chance gettrreir t0 ivori< aired theDiscovery on channel. vanreports Thui FER-MAR:or0 Hrnttqce FAsHtOx115
  2. 2. wall" narration.FirstTime Filmmakers, Vietnam is encouraging each of the directors record to and include much as of the naturalvoicesof the subjects of their films as possible.They are also encouraged onlyinclude voices to the of on-camera experts and off-camera narration needed support story. as to the Dao ThanhTung,with nearly15 years experience a documentary as filmmaker, isthe mostexperienced the group.His in film, "Life and Death in the City", focuses an ensemble characters on of livingnearor workingin the soon-to-be- closed Van Dien Cemetery.He will weave their storiestold in their own voices with images, sounds plenty and of Pacificto produce these 3O-minute, hundreds hand-drawn of cartoon"flip " Discovery moments" about character-driven and story-based books", and 3-D glasses with 3-D Vietnamese funeral and reburial documentaries. Twelve (out directors of photographic books. "l have been practices. "The lifeof one humanbeing 68 who submitted theirproposals)were attractedto Mr. Long for years, and is a journeyfrom birth to death", says selected Augustto cometo Hanoi last alreadyhad developeda script about Mr. Tung. "Our first home is the and pitch their storiesto a panel of him,"says Mr. Cuong. "ln my original maternity ward and our last is the experienced filmmakers, including script, presented Longin a portrait. graveyard." I Mr. Vikram Channa, vice presidentof What I am learning from Discovery is content of DiscoveryNetworks Asia- how to develop storyaroundhim." the Forthe last50 years, mostHanoians, for Pacific.Fiveout of the 12 werechosen that hasmeantVan Dien. Somepeople to pafticipate the program. in Forseveral the filmmakers of workingin have made a living off the cemetery. the program,learning developthe Others have suffered becauseof the to "Thisisan extraordinaryopportunity for story meanslearningto go with the pollutionit causes. With its closure, Vietnamese filmmakersto showcase flow. "Passions" a film about however,come mixed feelingswhich is their talentsto a globalaudienceand ballroom dancing Hanoi. One of its Mr. Tung discovers his four main in in have a new world of international main characters a middle-aged is tao characters: gravedigger, fortune a a television productionopen up before pho (sweet tofu soup) seller who teller,a man preparing rebury his to them,'said Sarah managing Macdonald, expresses her love of life through father,and a man livingin nearby Tam director TenAlpsAsia. of ballroom dancing. PhanY Ly plansto Hiep village. film Mrs. Tho watchingdancers a at Like Mr. Ha, all five filmmakers have young people'scompetitionthe day No matterhow much experience they focusedon characters tell stories that of before she comoetesin the senior have,all the filmmakers learning are to the diversityand passions Hanoi's of competition. mightbefrightened She by work within the styleand standards of people. their professionalism, that is part of an international but broadcasting company. the story. This is not alwayseasy,but as several Hoang Manh Cuong, a documentary have noted, it has been worth their director VW, is shooting film about at a Capturing realvoices realpeople effort. the of Mr. NguyenVan Long, Hanoi'smost tellingtheir own stories what makes is unusual storyteller. Every day, this project sucha challenge. about Phan Duy Linh, director of " )am For throughouthisadult life,Mr. Long has five years, the Vietnam Cinema Fighters", film about people a tryingto rycled 16km acrossHanoi from Van Departmenthas been encouraging solve Hanoi's traffic oroblems. Phucsilkvillage, wherehe was born,to documentary filmmakers to use commentsthat the program is a Thu LeZoo. 'Strapped the backof his to synchronoussound. Unfortunately, "precious opportunity learn lot from to a bike is a metal case containing his mosttelevision documentaries produced Discovery TenAlpsaboutscripting, and batteredRussian-made projector, film in Vietnam stilledited are with "wall-to- shooting, post-production working and 1 1 6 HERITACEFASHION 2OIO FER-MAR
  3. 3. with characters.' What surprises him strongpeople,"says Mr. Ha. "l haveto - brandfranchises all the tinselthat is the most is the "amountof time and learn to be patient,to listento their calledmodern? Or is it the peoplewe effort they are investing films like in comments whileI alsoprotect idea. my " meetandthe relationships make? we As " this. Mrs. Nhan remarks: "lf people Mr. Ha'scentral character unusual is in understand I willbe happy." me, Hoang Manh (.uong saysthe whole that she comesinto focusthroughher process "kind cf difficult is sometimes." unfotunate place Hanoi's in Millennium VikramChannapointsout, "Discovery "We agree on some detail, then it Celebrations. Mrs. Nhan's houseis in Networks Asia-Pacific been at the has changes. I thir k we have finisheda the city'slastremaining gate,and since forefront of producingdocumentary script, then am asked revise and to it." thisgateisscheduled be restored, to she content with Asianfilmmakers since ever Local executive[,roducer the prolect, will haveto move. As Mr. Ha explains, we beganoperations Asia 15 years for in Ha Thuc Van, managingdirectorof "Mrs. Nhandoesnot believe that this ago. We have alwaysbelieved the in Redbridge, laughs. "That'spar for the filmwillhelpherkeep house has creativity ingenuity localup-and- the she and of course", say;. Ms.Vanhasworked livedin for 40 years, rather, she but that it coming filmmakers. Our hope is to on about 20 international projectsover willhelppeople understand to her." collaborate with and encourage the past five years. "lt's a stressful, Vietnamese filmmakers bringunique to creativeprocess People fight to get Like many in the Old Quarter,even insights abouttheircountryand culture what they want, but they can't get t h o u g h h e r h o u s e i s s m a l l ,s h e i s to a broaderaudience. expertise Our lies everything.Yor haveto focuson the reluctantto leave the f riends and in craftingstoriesfor an international film and realize'hat everyonewantsto neighbors that have been the warm audience. The filmmakers themselves make best the " filn possible. environment herdifficult Mr. Ha's bringan authentic of life. localvoice.Bringing filmwill keepcoming back thispoint. together to thesetwo distinctapproaches, But the fight tself is a processof What makes citylivable? it landmark In our expenence, a ls producesgreat learning. "l h;tveto fight so many skyscrapers, streets full of cars,Iuxury documentaries. " Lookfor Intel Inside.