On the afternoon of May 10th 2023, in Da Nang city, the seminar “Developing the film industry – Building a favorable filmmaking environment in Da Nang” took place with the participation of many managers and leading experts in the domestic and international cinema industry.
The seminar is in the framework of the 1st Da Nang Asian Film Festival 2023 (DANAFF I) held from May 9th to May 13th, 2023, directed by the Da Nang City People’s Committee, the Vietnam Film Development Association (VFDA) presides over and coordinates with the Department of Culture and Sports of Da Nang city and other departments, branches, organizations and individuals both inside and outside of Vietnam.
Mr. Yoshitaka Sugihara, Public Policy Director of Netflix Japan, said that through a context, a place, and a landscape appearing in the film, the audience will know and want to learn and explore that place. Setting the film scene and mobilizing local actors to participate is also a way for people to proudly promote the local identity. Thus, cinema becomes an important bridge to connect people in all regions and localities in the filming place will also “benefit”.
Mr. Yoshitaka Sugihara said that welcoming an international film crew to shoot also helps the locality learn a lot of valuable experience in film organization, production, connection of mass actors/actresses or construction of a film set that can be called a “supply chain” in the film industry.
Mr. Stephen P. Jenner, Vice President of Asia-Pacific Communications of the Motion Pictures Association of America gave an example of Da Nang: “We are very impressed, overwhelmed and always want to film the early morning beach scene in Da Nang and I think every filmmaker also wants to do the same…”
People’s Artist Huynh Van Hung, former director of the Da Nang Department of Culture and Sports, said that Da Nang has now set aside a land fund of 50 hectares to build a studio. With the advantage of the landscape with rivers, mountains and a rich history to inspire the filmmakers, Da Nang needs more international film crews to come and shoot.
From the perspective of the management agency, Mr. Ha Vy, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture and Sports of Da Nang acknowledged that through cultural, sports and tourism events such as the International Fireworks Festival (DIFF), The international sports tournament IRONMAN 70.3 and currently is DANAFF I, Da Nang has welcomed a large number of tourists and the image of the city’s sights has been widely spread. Da Nang also identifies cinema as an effective advertising channel.
According to Ms. Ly Phuong Dung, Deputy Director of the Cinema Department (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism), Da Nang has enough time, location and harmony to develop cinema. In the long term, it is necessary to soon concretize preferential mechanisms and policies for film production such as: Tax incentives, tax refunds, local supports… to attract film crews, especially the foreign film crews.
And Mr. Franck Priot, former Executive Director of Film France, French Film Commission, said that, besides developing policies to attract film crews, it is necessary to develop human resources and context to support them. It is needed to build a film school or have more short-term training classes to form human resources for film activities.
“Da Nang should choose the most typical scene to create an identity image with the audience,” noted by Mr. Franck Priot.
From the local side, Ms. Le Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of Da Nang Department of Planning and Investment, acknowledged that the locality is lacking in large enterprises operating in the field of culture in general and cinema in particular, especially those that provide and support equipment and services… In the case of international film crews coming to the locality and needing support in terms of services and equipment, very few units can meet their requirements. There is also a shortage of high-quality human resources for the film industry.
Ms. Ngo Thi Kim Yen, Vice Chairwoman of Da Nang City People’s Committee, said that the Law on Cinema was passed by the National Assembly in June 2022 and takes effect from January 1, 2023, creating a favorable legal corridor for the development of cinema. The locality will make every effort to take advantage of this opportunity. However, it is necessary for authorities to issue more specific regulations to attract domestic and foreign investment in cinema; encouraging public-private cooperation in film production and distribution, and development of the film market.