A film by RMIT Vietnam students about an apprentice genie of the lamp has been recognised in an international film competition.
‘I am Genie’ (Tôi là Thần đèn) took out third place in the best film category and overall best actress in the Ho Chi Minh City round of this year’s 48 Hour Film Project.
Produced by the student group Team Dreamers, the film is about an apprentice genie of the lamp needing to grant three wishes without using magic in order to become an official genie.
After hearing many unachievable wishes, the disheartened genie met a girl with vision impairment who wished to be taken home, eat home-cooked fried rice and find her father who abandoned her long ago.
There was an emotional turning point in the story when it was revealed the father had passed away, but the genie still achieved success as the girl felt her wish had still been granted through the efforts to find her another father.
RMIT Vietnam students in the team included Vu Le Duc (leader and screenwriter), Le Hoang Anh Tu (director), Khong Duc Viet (camera operator), Nguyen Hoang Anh (actress), Bui Khanh Duy (actor), Duong Ngo Anh Duy (sound) and Tran Hiep (lighting).
RMIT Vietnam Design Lecturer Nguyen Trong Khoa said the film is a product of creative and dynamic minds.
“This group of young filmmakers has demonstrated tremendous creativity and dynamism in their storytelling that resonates beyond their youthful generation,” he said.
“I hope to see more films from this group in the near future.”
RMIT Vietnam Design student and team leader Vu Le Duc said the time pressure is one of the biggest challenges when making films in 48 hours.
“We usually spend around one month to produce a quality film, then we can afford to make mistakes, fix them and change things when needed,” Vu said.
“In this competition, we needed to complete concept, casting, production, and post-production processes within a strictly limited time, meaning we had no time to make changes.
“It meant some details in the film weren’t as polished as we wanted.”
However, Vu takes pride in what the team has achieved.
“We’re so happy to have won third best film and overall best actress,” he said.
“We had seven nominations out of the 12 categories, including best use of character, best use of prop, best actor, best actress, best screenplay, best direction and best film.”
The 48 Hour Film Project is a weekend event in which teams are randomly assigned a genre, character, prop and line of dialogue to be included in a film.
This year, the films needed to include a waiter, chess piece and the dialogue of ‘don’t forget our agreement.’