Vietnam students push film limits (January 12, 2007)
A group of students in Vietnam are pushing the boundaries of movie-making in the country with a film they put together on a shoe-string.
|The students had little previous experience of movie-making|
Around 20 students from Saigon used their own hand-held cameras and computers to shoot and produce a love story called Little Bubu.
The film's true-to-life scenes are unusual in a country where movies are still subject to government controls.
Little Bubu proved a hit when screened to other students at Saigon University.
More than 600 people turned out to see it.
The film was the brainchild of students in the foreign languages department of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities at Saigon.
"Our aim was to have some fun and put together something by which we could remember our time at university," one of the students involved, Tran Hung, said.
Little Bubu, or Chuyen La in Vietnamese, centres on Huy and his three encounters with a female criminal called Van - by the end of which they have fallen in love and she has promised to change her ways.
With very little money - the whole project came to around $300 (£150) - the students made do with three camcorders, a microphone and home computers.
Shooting took place over three months and the editing involved an intensive four weeks.
|The film is set in Saigon|
A key reason for the film's success, says Hung, is the publicity drive behind it, which included creating a state-of-the-art website with links to international information sharing sites such as MySpace.
"We know that some students have made films before, but I think the difference for us is that there was so much marketing," he said.
Movies in Vietnam must be vetted by censors, but Little Bubu was given the go ahead because it is a student rather than a commercial venture.
Hung believes this is the start of things to come.
"Sites such as YouTube and Google Video have made it easier for people to be able to create their own movie, so we really think more and more people are going to become interested in it," he says.
Reprinted from BBC News
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