Local filmmakers and their American counterparts met at a cultural exchange programme yesterday held by the US Consulate General in HCM City to share experiences about documentary film-making.
HCM CITY —
Cinematography expert, Diane Carson, and two film directors, Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, have been in Viet Nam as part of the American Documentary Showcase.
The showcase is one of several cultural exchange programmes of the US Consulate General to promote mutual understanding between the countries.
The programme selects the best or most powerful documentaries in the US to screen in other countries.
The main goals of the showcase are to provide a glimpse into American culture, highlight the role of documentary and foster mutual understanding, Patricia Norland, the consulate's Public Affairs Officer, said.
The showcase delegations and various films are currently touring the world, including American embassies and consulates in Ecuador, the Czech Republic, Poland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Belarus, Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan, Israel, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others.
A documentary about life after the Katrina hurricane in the US was shown during the programme.
Diane Carson, former head of the US-based University Film&Video Association, said documentaries had always been popular in the US, but had become more common in the last 20-30 years.
Although the Katrina film criticised the US Government, the US Department of State decided to screen it around the world.
The film has been shown in 300 cities and 500 schools in the US, and broadcast by two TV networks in the country. The powerful documentary was awarded 10 prizes in 2008.
The film shows how 3,000 people lost their lives and millions lost their homes in the city of New Orleans after the devastating storm.
Deal, the film's director, said the situation was somewhat similar to the aftermath of severe storms that often hit Viet Nam.
The story is a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes, two unforgettable people who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning.
The film opens the day before the storm makes landfall when a 24-year-old aspiring rap artist Kimberly Rivers Roberts turns her new video camera on herself and her 9th Ward neighbours trapped in the city.
The Showcase, funded by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, is designed to promote American documentaries and filmmakers at international overseas venues. — VNS