TOKYO – Vietnamese production company BHD has begun production of “Farewell The Berlin Wall,” a new feature film that underlines growing ambitions on the part of the country’s film-makers.
The picture is a period, crime drama, much of it told from a female perspective, a break from some of the more obviously commercial genres of film with which Vietnamese producers have made inroads at the local box office.
The director is Nguyen Phan Quang Binh, who previously directed 2010 box office record breaker “Floating Lives.” Cast includes Tran Bao Son (“Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere,”), Gary Daniels (“The Expendables,” “City Hunter”), Ngoc Anh and David Tran.
The story kicks off with the 1989 collapse of the Berlin Wall, an event which had wide reaching implications for a Communist country such as Vietnam, as well as, on a human level, repercussions for the many foreign workers who scratched out a living in Germany and sent money back home to Asia.
“The budget is small by international standards, but we know how to make that go a long way and viewers will have to see for themselves whether the money is on the screen,” said Nguyen Bao Mai, sales and acquisitions manager at Vietnam Media Corp, the state-backed company behind BHD, speaking at the Tokyo festival’s film market, where she was introducing the project to buyers. “Farewell” will shoot for 15 days in Berlin and 35 days in Vietnam.
“We are committed to a March 5, 2015 theatrical release. That’s only a week after the Lunar New Year holiday, when normally romances and action films dominate in Vietnam, so this is a deliberate break with genre programming tradition. But we have a lot of faith in the director and we also have the March 8 ‘Women’s Day’ working in our favour,” said Nguyen.