Leading Vietnamese Filmmakers Reflect on Conversation with Lord David Puttnam

February 10, 2015

Lord David Puttnam is a busy man. He recently took time out from his role as the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Vietnam (as well as to Laos, Cambodia, and Burma) to speak to us about filmmaking, and our conversation really did resonate and will perhaps be remembered as a turning point in the development of Vietnam’s small  but passionate film industry. The event was organized by the Motion Picture Association with the support of the British Council and CGV Arthouse in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Pictured Above: Director Vo Thach Thao

I take away from our conversation with Lord Puttnam so much knowledge. I now have a much deeper understanding of the challenges facing the international film industry and I now have some idea where it will head in the future. Audiences know more about the medium of cinema so filmmakers need to change the way they tell stories. Filmmakers should consider creativeness as a kind of “muscle exercise” in which “resilience” is a key factor. What Lord Puttnam’s shared with us was valuable yet practical. It really helps us – Vietnamese filmmakers – to be clear on determining our objectives as well as how to move forward.

Pictured Above: Director Siu Pham

With his enthusiasm and insights into his classic movies, both comedy and drama, Lord David Puttnam has engaged us in a wonderful conversation. It was both fascinating and timely for those of us working in the Vietnamese film industry, which is at a critical stage of development. The vision he shared to us was so important, and we will always remember that “resilience” is a vital attribute to have in this profession. Though I am just a small filmmaker, I am so encouraged by Lord Puttnam. I believe that directors like Directors Hoang Diep, Nhue Giang, Bui Thac Chuyen and I will all need to be resilient in making our movies.

Pictured Above: Director Do Quoc Trung

The conversation with Lord Puttnam  involved important knowledge about the development of the movie industry, so well illustrated by the many video clips he showed us during the presentation. But more than this, the conversation raised, many controversial arguments about Vietnam’s current movie production industry. Being a young filmmaker, I very much value what previous generations of filmmakers have to share. Having a chance to listen to a world-class film producer like Lord Puttnam is very important to me, especially his encouragement of Vietnamese filmmakers to think more about how our films will impact audiences. I really look forward to having more open professional discussions like this in the near future.