Tuesday , May 28 2024

Gut-wrenching to see foreign films dominating in Vietnam: PM

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has raised concerns about the prevalence of foreign films in Vietnam, both on television and in cinemas, during the inaugural National Conference on the Development of Cultural Industries.

The event, which took place on Dec. 22 and was presided over by the Prime Minister, witnessed participation from numerous governmental departments, UNESCO’s Vietnam representatives, heads of industry organizations, businesses, specialists, and artists. The focus was on the evolution of Vietnam’s cultural sector, including its challenges and potential strategies for improvement.

Prime Minister Chinh highlighted that approximately 70% of the films screened in cinemas and on television are international productions. He expressed his discomfort, stating: “I feel gut-wrenching seeing foreign films on TV every time I turn it on.”

He further commented on the constraints in the content and form of domestic cultural offerings, mentioning the absence of significant works that reflect the nation’s socio-economic progress and the susceptibility to external influences, such as pandemics.

In response, he suggested more investment in movies that connect with the audience.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh addressing the conference on Dec. 22, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nhat Bac

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh addressing the conference on Dec. 22, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nhat Bac

Support for the Prime Minister’s perspective was apparent among various attendees.

The Culture, Sports, and Tourism Minister Nguyen Van Hung acknowledged Vietnam’s intermediate status in cultural production and recognized its substantial potential for growth.

Agriculture Minister Le Minh Hoan highlighted the pivotal role of culture, particularly film, in diverse sectors such as the economy, agriculture, and tourism. He stressed the need to reevaluate the “power of culture” and utilize it to enhance Vietnam’s global image.

From the business perspective, Ngo Thi Bich Hanh, CEO of BHD, a company specializing in content creation and distribution, urged for governmental support and improved conditions for film production, citing the current intricate bureaucratic procedures.

She advocated for the construction of more cinemas and studios, reduction in land-rental and utility expenses for cinemas, easier access to loans for cultural projects, and tougher penalties for copyright violations.

“Stealing a motorbike leads to imprisonment, but illegally recording and broadcasting a film worth VND30-40 billion (US$1.2-1.6 million) results in mere administrative fines,” she noted.

Representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information and Communications, Union of Literature and Arts Associations of Vietnam, state-owned companies, and artists also offered their viewpoints and suggestions during the conference.

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