Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Truong Hoc Ma Mut (The Mammoth School), an animated film, won first prize in the Film Pitching competition jointly organized by the Vietnam Film Development Association (VFDA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPA).
The film by Ngan Zeta, a young independent screenwriter, tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who goes to a mammoth school for intelligent animals but is discriminated against because he is human.
The second prize was awarded to Tu Luc Van Doan (Once Upon a Time in Hanoi) by Doan Tan Dat, a film about the journey of a young man named Tam, who finds himself caught up in a dangerous and unexpected journey by train to Saigon, then fled to France to form Tu Luc Van Doan, the largest art and literature movement in Vietnam in the first half of the 20th century.
The two winners were selected from 10 finalists with outstanding film projects in Vietnam.
Their names were announced at a film pitching workshop held in Hanoi on April 26 as part of the competition after successfully pitching their ideas to a jury of Vietnamese and foreign experts.
After the competition, the winner of the first prize will participate in a short film internship in the United States, while the second will be given a set of filming accessories.
The 10 finalists were selected from 41 ideas to participate in the pitch round, which was scheduled for last year. However, the pandemic forced the organizers to postpone to this year.
The 10 projects selected include Dia va Nang (Land Genie and Fallen Fairy) by ALT team; Death Goes On by Team Nguyen My Anh and Tran Phuong Trang; Neu Nhu la Dinh Menh (If it’s a destiny) by Nguyen Thy Phuong Anh; Nhiem Vu 2020 (Mission 2020) by Nguyen Thi Lan Chi and Tran Vi Dai Phu; Tu Luc Van Doan (Once Upon a Time in Hanoi) by Doan Tan Dat; Dem A Dao (Midnight) by Dang Thu Ha; Dan Ba Thoi Dai by Tran Nhan Kien; Truong Hoc Ma Mut (Mammoth School) by Ngan Zeta; Ban Sac (Identity) by JOS Creative; and Pho Indie by Nguyen Le Hoang Viet.
The films featured rich and diverse content covering various aspects of life including love, culture, food and the pandemic.
Organizers said the participants were very young filmmakers, the youngest being born in 1997, and some had participated in national and international competitions.
During the workshop, the 10 shortlisted projects pitched their ideas in front of a jury of renowned experts, filmmakers and producers, including Stephen P. Jenner, Regional Director and Head of Communications for Asia – Pacific of the Motion Picture Association of America; Charlyn Ng, film producer, Motion Picture Association of America expert; Phan Dang Di, director, screenwriter and producer; Ngo Thi Bich Hanh, vice president of BHD; and Trinh Thi Thuy Lien, Content Director of VSTV (K).
Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Ngo Phuong Lan, President of VDFA, said the competition was an opportunity for young moviegoers to interact and learn from American and Vietnamese experts.
“Each film starts with a unique good idea which contributes a significant part to the film’s success. We hope the contest will uncover new talent for Vietnamese cinema,” Lan said.
Lan also said that she looks forward to seeing great films from the selected projects, and that they shouldn’t just “remain mere ideas”.
MPA’s Jenner said he hopes the top-prize winner enjoys the Hollywood training course and puts it into practice when taking on professional film projects at home.
The MPA representative encouraged talented young Vietnamese filmmakers to create more film projects, saying he considers them colleagues and hopes MPA will support them in the future.
According to the organizers, the participation of the members of the American jury shows that the cinema industry has returned to normal after two years of suffering from the pandemic.
The Film Pitching Competition was initiated and organized in 2020 by VFDA in collaboration with MPA, and other relevant agencies attracted the attention of a large number of filmmakers, especially young ones.
“Green Screen” Contest
The VFDA is organizing another competition on the subject of environmental protection and sustainable development.
The Green Screen contest, co-hosted by Netflix, was launched in January 2022.
By the end of July 2022, film projects can apply for a chance to be funded up to 20 million VND.
The competition presents simple yet inspiring stories focused on protecting the environment.
Applicants can tell a simple yet inspiring story, or a strong current story, about the impact of human choices and decisions on the environment.
The duration of the competition film must be less than 10 minutes and must apply ecological measures in the production process, such as recycled water bottles, maintenance without foam boxes and environmentally friendly filming equipment.
Entries must be produced after January 5, 2022 and must not have participated in any other competition. Applicants can submit scripts or projects to the pre-qualification round.
The Green Screen Short Film Contest award ceremony is scheduled for September 2, 2022./.