Future filmmakers shine at RMIT’s Filmmaking Talent Search competition

Future filmmakers shine at RMIT’s Filmmaking Talent Search competition

Three teams from HCMC and Dong Nai province successfully beat 63 other competitors for their creative messages, filmmaking and storytelling techniques, and took home top three awards including People’s Choice award at RMIT’s 2021 Filmmaking Talent Search competition.

The annual event organised and launched in 2020 by RMIT University in Vietnam in collaboration with Hoa Hoc Tro magazine, the Filmmaking Talent Search competition is open to all teenagers studying at high schools in Ho Chi Minh City and surrounding provinces.

The eight-month long competition attracted more than 240 high school students from 59 local and international high schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Vung Tau, Hue and Hanoi.

Forty-five teams and individuals who progressed to the semi-finals had an opportunity to participate in three online training sessions delivered by leading RMIT lecturers and industry experts with deep experience in the digital film industry. 

These sessions included ‘Character development and screenplay creation’ by the screenwriter Tran Khanh Hoang, ‘The importance of sound in film’ by RMIT Bachelor of Digital Film and Video Program Manager Dr Nick Cope, and ‘Know your 'Why'’ by RMIT lecturer and film director Nguyen Trong Khoa.

Participants then applied their newly acquired knowledge to produce a short film, with a maximum length of three minutes and focusing on one of the three topics: Travel, Sound of life, and Environment. 

Best film was awarded to THE FLOW from Nguyen Thi Minh Khai high school, HCMC, with the Shut.

The screenplay, camera angle and fine-tuning script of the Shut were highly appreciated by the judges.

“The film was shot beautifully with thoughtful framing and composition,” Dr Cope said.

“Interesting storyline which questions a contemporary theme, do we spend too much time glued to our mobile phones, what happens when we engage in life more fully if we take our eyes away from those screens.

“A very clever narrative twist that leaves us asking if this gift [the phone] was such a great gift after all.” 

The Best picture winning team at RMIT’s 2021 Filmmaking Talent Search competition.

Listen by the CREATORS from Luong The Vinh high school for gifted, Dong Nai, was the runner-up for its gentle storytelling about how the sound of life which can heal the pain in the past.

One of the judges Director Nguyen Quang Dung applauded the team for their boldness in choosing the narrative incorporated with beautiful framing. 

The runner-up at RMIT’s 2021 Filmmaking Talent Search competition

The People’s Choice was awarded to the only all-female team OLDTOWNGIRLZ from Long Thanh high school, Dong Nai province, with the Luc.

Another judge Director and actress Hong Anh highly appreciated the work for its beautiful camera angles and the zen feeling it brought to the audience through the journey of finding oneself as a young person. 

The People’s Choice Award winning team at  RMIT’s 2021 Filmmaking Talent Search competition.

(Pictured, from left to right) RMIT Dean of School of Communication and Design Professor Julia Gaimster, Vice Manager Hoa Hoc Tro Media Bui Lan Phuong, RMIT Bachelor of Digital Film and Video Senior Program Manager Dr Nick Cope, Director and actress Hong Anh, and Director Nguyen Quang Dung.

RMIT Bachelor of Digital Film and Video Program Manager Dr Nick Cope was tremendously excited to see the energy and enthusiasm from the participating students and the quality of work produced.

“One of our judges last year, the Director of the award-winning film Rom, Tran Thanh Huy, commented that the competition is a great way to support and encourage a new generation of Vietnamese filmmakers, a view I hold too, which is why we wanted to run the competition again this year,” Dr Cope said.

A 2020 participant and RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar Duong Thi Bang Lang who is now studying Bachelor of Digital Film and Video at the University praised the competition for its inspiration.

“The competition helped me to reinforce my passion and confidence in choosing to study film,” Bang Lang said.

“Compared to other filmmaking competitions, RMIT’s Filmmaking Talent Search competition provides young filmmakers with a solid foundation and quality learning experience which enables them to reinforce their passion and confidence in their career choice.

Aside from selecting the outstanding recipients for the awards, the two industry judges Director Nguyen Quang Dung and Director and actress Hong Anh also shared insightful and valuable advice to all young participants.

While congratulating the organisers on the success of the event and all participating teams, Director Nguyen Quang Dung encouraged students to pursue a career in filmmaking if they have the passion and capability.

“The competition is a critical stepping stone for your future career,” he said.

“The network you have built today will create a healthy competitive environment for you to learn from each other and to flourish.”

Director and actress Hong Anh said that she was thrilled seeing the passion, ambition and compassion in the young participants.

“I hope RMIT and Hoa Hoc Tro can maintain the annual event to showcase more unique and emerging works from across the youth of Vietnam,” she said.

And to future filmmakers, she emphasised that their very first work, especially with short film, is where they can freely express themselves to the fullest, so “be courageous and confident”.

Dr Cope stressed that the competition is a great exemplar for a successful initiative that engages the university in the wider community, city, region and beyond.

“The creative, digital and media industries have so much potential for growth and development here in Vietnam, and to support and foster a new generation of enthusiasm and talent to drive these developments is very rewarding,” he said.

“It is great to see the effort, creativity and hard work the students have put into their productions, and to encourage and support them for their future dreams and aspirations.”

Story: Ha Hoang

  • Film & Video

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