VietNamNet Bridge – Duong Dua (The Race) is the first movie to be produced by the newly-established studio Blue Production studios. It was enthusiastically received at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival before it hit local screens on July 26.
The production team included first-time director Nguyen Khac Huy and seasoned actress Hong Anh.
Anh spoke to World of Cinema magazine about the Blue Production’s first feature film.
The Race was the first film to be released by Blue Production. As the owner, what do you expect from the first production?
I tried my best to make the perfect movie. I just hope The Race will win audiences’ hearts. Blue Production’s development will focus on action and crime movies and co-operation with young artists.
I also hope that Blue Production will create more of a market for these genres.
What can you tell us about The Race and its production?
The movie is a story about Loc played by rock singer Pham Anh Khoa, who is a retired jockey who borrows money to purchase a truck to make a living in the city and support his sick father.
Penniless, Loc gambles at a den owned by Hai, played by model Nhan Phuc Vinh, who demands repayment when Loc loses.
The Race is a production made by a group of young people. The script was co-written by director Huy and me. The three male roles are played by rocker Khoa, model Vinh and actor Binh, who are the new faces of the silver screen.
The soundtrack was composed by Nguyen Manh Duy Linh from the HCM Ballet Symphony and Orchestra. He won the best composer award at the Chelyabinsk International Music Festival in Russia in 2007.
The film progresses at a stifling, fast pace and is expected to enthral viewers from beginning to end with a suspending climax and some thrilling details as well as gorgeous camerawork by New Zealand cameraman Kieran Daniel Fowler. The movie was shot using the new ARRI Alexa high-end digital movie camera.
The movie was completed last December and was intended for release in March, but we were delayed by censors. It was licensed to be distributed nationwide after three months of supplemental shooting and adjustments demanded by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Department of Cinematography.
However, the movie is still rated 16.
You say the crew includes emerging artists. Do you believe that they will bring something new to audiences?
This is the thing that makes me confident in our first production. The movie will appeal to different tastes, but I’m sure it’s quite different from others.
Adjustments were needed before the film was approved for national distribution. Are you satisfied with the end product?
I think during the adjustment progress the department listened to our arguments. They agreed to watch the unfinished version, which I appreciate.
However, the department and the producers have different opinions on art and the role of cinema.
Finally, the two sides reached a consensus after three months of discussions. The consensus is not ideal to either party, but it is acceptable. The Race has been given a 16 certificate by the department due to its violent scenes. We respect the department’s decision.
In future, we would like an official appraisal system that involves movie makers, professionals and the department.