Van Lang Film Festival 2021 – the last station

(VLU, 01/6/2021) - More than 2 months after launch day, 2021 Van Lang Film Festival (VLFF) has reached its “last station” of its creative adventure: evaluating scripts for the audition round, materializing ideas in the semi-final, and officially announcing the outstanding work to be in the Final (25 May 2021).

As a member of the Judges throughout the whole competition, Assoc. Prof. Dr., Meritorious Artist. Phan Thi Bich Ha (Dean of The Faculty of Art, Stage, and Movie) shared: “Each movie is a different point of view and a different shade. The reality cuts of daily life were collected and transferred to works of art. They (the competitors) have made the most of the camera angles, art design, sounds, etc. to create the second reality on the big screen. This is such a precious thing of the students.”

Restless because of the film festival

The competition among the teams in the semi-final happened quite intensely. With each stage of pre-production, production, and post-production, all are planned by young filmmakers with little experience but filled with a burning passion. Nguyen Duc Nhan - a student majoring in Directing at Van Lang University - director of "The Room of Truth" shared: “This is the first time I get to study so many things within a short amount of time! From the mindset to the work ethic, VLFF has helped me to realize my mistakes and improve my work.

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Difficulties in the filmmaking process are inevitable. As young "student film crews", there are many stages of the competition that the teams find themselves not being thorough enough: an actor had to play 2 roles in 1 work, the only extra was sometimes unexpectedly busy, and the whole crew had to "coax" the secretary to play the role for rescue! In student film crews, it is very common to have a director multitasking as a screenwriter, and an editor.

“The greatest obstacle is when a person multitasking many roles, such as screenwriter, director, and editor, only one perspective of their own is shown. We are not clear how our “child” would be seen under the others’ perspective.” – Do Tran Minh Quan, a Digital Art Design major, director of the short film "Because Of You’ shared.

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“If it is not for the Van Lang Film Festival, perhaps they would not have known that they have such strong inner strength and desire. There were the days when the team gathered money to buy bread for cost-saving purposes, huddled together to help each other applying lipstick because they couldn't afford to rent "genuine" make-up artist; or the smiles and tears of youth's conflicts and disagreements. Those will be memorable days for each participant: “For the past two months, I have found myself really busy! Memories are not something vivid right at the moment we get them. It will take a while. Till the craving for making a movie rises once again that those memories will become precious. For right now, I only remember the 3 days of filming were the 3 extremely happy days for us!”  Representative of Fly Team, the film “Network- Society" said.

Gratitude

What special at Van Lang Film Festival is that the organizers carefully arranged 5 mentors and a team of supervisors accompanied the young competitors to instruct and help them through 3 months of making the movies.

We would like to thank artist Tran Quang Tri for always caring and assisting us. Not only gave us pieces of advice, he even actively came to the scene to help with the characters’ designs with the team. Every time we felt like want to give up, his care has motivated us to together completing the work.” – D. Snake Team, contest entry: “Mau Cuc Trang” (The White Daisy)

I would like to send my deep gratitude to Ms. Bich Phuong (VLU’s Communications Department) for helping us a lot from the script to connection so that we could use the recording studio for completing our work. Advice from you had made our editing process run smoothly and our work to be more well-made” – Vedette Team, contest entry: “The VR”

At first, we consider this to be the test for the team. But we were really surprised by the magnificence of VLFF! Having a mentor instructing made us decided that we need to be more serious in our work. We would like to thank director Le Anh Trung for accompanying us from the very small work. We thank Van Lang University for creating such a professional and emotional competition like this.” – Fly Team, contest entry: “Mang – Xa hoi” (Network – Society)

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Mr. Duong Duc Lam, who has accompanied the group during the past time despite having to "suffer" and "try" a lot. Thanks to his help from character analysis to script analysis, everything became more favorable, helping us to achieve a product like today." - Day Thun, contest entry: “Mysterious box”.

Without the help and guidance of our super mentor – director Tran Minh Ngan, we probably wouldn't have been able to go as far as we are now. We've never made a movie, we don't know anything about movies, and we're terribly inexperienced! Thanks to the mentor's dedicated guidance, we were able to create the finished product of the present" - Ravenclaw, contest entry: "Touch".

Last station: new beginning

There is still room for improvement to create the most perfect product, but the important thing is that Van Lang University’s students have together created the "spiritual child" based on solidarity. “In a contest, there are always winners and losers. For those who are not lucky enough to enter the next round or those who do not win the first prize, what is more important than the prize is that you have discovered the value of yourself. I believe that the teams will gain a lot of experience and continue to make films despite failure.” - Director, People's Artist Dao Ba Son, Head of the Advisory Board of Van Lang Film Festival shared.

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There was also an interesting coincidence. The 2021 Van Lang Film Festival became the rendezvous of Course 22 Digital Art Design’s students whereas up to 4 students joined the contest with 5 works! It is so delightful when Van Lang University can take up a special spot in your hearts as a home that always welcomes the children to come back and achieve their dreams.

The long journey finally came to an end. The works that made it to the finals of Van Lang Film Festival will be officially broadcasted online from June 6th, 2021. The voting will also be conducted on Van Lang University’s fanpage. The organization plan for the judges’ official scoring and the awarding gala for the finals will be announced by the organizer board once the pandemic situation is controlled. We wish the Van Lang Film Festival success, and the effort of the 19 teams in the finals in particular, and every contestant in general, will bear fruits in the near future.

Kim Tuyen


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