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Filmmakers worry about movie audience attendance during Tết

Created 10 February 2021
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Vietnamese filmmakers are ready for the busiest season of the year, the Tết (Lunar New Year) festival, which begins on February 12, with new movies to be released during the long holiday.

A scene in Gái Già Lắm Chiêu V– Những Cuộc Đời Vương Giả (The Tricky Ladies V: Luxurious Lives), a film featuring love, women and family, produced by Thiên Ngân (Galaxy) Studio, one of the country’s leading private film agencies. (Photo courtesy of Thiên Ngân Studio)

By Thu Anh

HCM CITY— Vietnamese filmmakers are ready for the busiest season of the year, the Tết (Lunar New Year) festival, which begins on February 12, with new movies to be released during the long holiday.

However, they are worried that cinemas may lose audiences because of the COVID-19 pendamic.

Famous comedian Trấn Thành and his crew are now filming for a Tết release. His film, Bố Già (Old Dad), is a new version of the most-viewed web drama in Việt Nam last season.

It is about the life of an older xe ôm (motorbike taxi) driver living in HCM City who faces challenges earning money for his wife and two teenaged children.

The five-episode series, starring Thành and his peer, People’s Artist and comic actress Ngọc Giàu, earned more than 90 million views, ranking No 1 on trending on YouTube in Việt Nam after it premiered on January 2.

Its producer, Thành, who plays the xe ôm driver in the film, invested VNĐ4 billion (US$172,000) in the production.

In the movie version of Bố Già, Thành invited blockbuster director Vũ Ngọc Đãng, who has 20 years of experience in the industry, to guarantee the ticket sales of his production.

“I added new details to the film to make it fresh for audiences,” said the film’s director Đãng, adding the work was shot at famous tourist sites in the city.

“My film features the culture and lifestyle of Saigonnese."

Trailer of Bố Già has attracted more than 733,000 views on YouTube.

A poster for Bố Già (Old Dad) produced by well-known comedian Trần Thành. Vietnamese filmmakers are ready for the busiest season during Tết (Lunar New Year), which begins on February 12, with new movies to be released during the long holiday. (Photo courtesy of Trấn ThànhTown)

Movie star, director and producer Ngô Thanh Vân will release Trạng Tí (Child Master), a film about Vietnamese folk stories, for the New Year.

The film features four child characters called Tí (Mouse), Sửu (Buffalo), Dần (Tiger) and Mẹo (Cat), who live in a remote village and use their intelligence to protect their villagers.

Vân and her partners spent US$1 million on the production.

Vân used talented director Phan Gia Nhật Linh,to capture the Vietnamese spirit through the film. Filming was shot in Ninh Bình Province, home to Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex, a World Culture and Nature Heritage site recognised by UNESCO. It is around 100km to the south of Hà Nội.

The soundtrack is composed by Đức Trí, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Trí uses folk music from people in the northern and southern regions to highlight the film’s theme.

The film’s teaser on YouTube has attracted more than 204,000 views.

Trạng Tí was scheduled to be released in cinemas in May last year, but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We decided to delay our film’s release because we wanted to guarantee the success of ticket sales,” said Vân, owner of Studio88, a private film and entertainment agency.

“We will release our film during the Tết holiday. We hope luck will knock on our door,” she said.

In the New Year of 2019, Vân released her fantasy film, Tấm Cám-Chuyện Chưa Kể (Tấm Cám -The Untold Story), based on a fairy tale known as the Vietnamese version of Cinderella, in 37 cinema complexes in Hà Nội, HCM City and provinces.

She earned more than VNĐ70 billion ($3.1 million) in ticket sales while spending only VNĐ2 billion ($97,000) in filming.

Thành and Vân will release their films on February 12.

Another film is Gái Già Lắm Chiêu V – Những Cuộc Đời Vương Giả (The Tricky Ladies V: Luxurious Lives), the fifth edition of the chick flick series called Gái Già Lắm Chiêu (The Tricky Ladies) by young directors Bảo Nhân and Nam Cito.

The duo hired A-list actresses Lê Khanh, Hồng Vân, Kaity Nguyễn and Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc who have helped to attract fans since the staff began filming their first scenes in Huế City.

The producer, Galaxy (Thiên Ngân) Cinema, spent VNĐ46 billion ($2 million) on production.

Since the debut of the series in 2016, the producers have revealed each new edition at Tết. Last year, Gái Già Lắm Chiêu 3 – Đại Chiến Mẹ Chồng Nàng Dâu (Battle of Mother and Daughter-in-law) earned VNĐ165 billion (US$7.1 million) in tickert sales.

The fifth work Những Cuộc Đời Vương Giả highlights love, women and family. It will be in cinemas on February 12.

“I hope my career will approach a new and higher level after playing in Những Cuộc Đời Vương Giả,” said 21-year-old Kaity Nguyễn, a Vietnamese-American who rose to fame after her debut in Việt Nam in 2017. — VNS


Source: VNN