Oct 31 2011
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say I’m a bit of a film buff. One of the great things about living in Saigon is that between cheap movie theatres, which usually charge less than 100,000 VND for a ticket, and street DVDs, which cost about 10,000 VND a disk, I can pretty much get my movie fix whenever I want. But, besides being a lover of the silver screen, I’ve also dreamed about the production side; I’ve even made a few quick videos, such as this one, for Travelfish. For this reason, I was overjoyed to hear that the 48-Hour Film Project would be returning to HCMC for its second year.
The 48-Hour Film Project is an annual event in its second year in HCMC, and sees aspiring film-makers, and people who want to have a little fun, get together to make a short film from concept to completion in a 48-hour time span. The concept is simple: teams meet at a launch party where they get parameters for their film, which keeps them from being able to use something they’ve already made. At the launch a team will get the genre of their film, a line of dialogue that must be used, a prop that must be seen, and a character who must also be featured. For example, last year the genre was drawn out of a hat, the line was, ‘you know, same same but different,’ the prop was incense, and the character was a taxi driver or xe om named Pham.
From there, teams have just 48 hours before they have to turn in their film, which must be between three and eight minutes’ long. The films that are turned in on time are then judged by a panel of movie experts and the finished films are shown on the big screen at a local movie theatre. An overall winner is selected (as well as winners of several other technical and audience categories), and the winning film will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival where it will compete for the overall prize against other 48-hour films from cities around the world.
This year the festival will give out 100 million VND in prizes to winning films but the real prize is the excitement of making the film — plus you get to see your finished product on the big screen and attend a swanky awards show. Last year I participated in the festival and my team was nominated for several awards, scooping a prize for Best Film in a Foreign Language. So, if you’re in town between November 4 and 6, and you have some sort of video recording device, you may want to give the competition a try.
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