Casting for film on southern culture begins

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Casting for Đất Rừng Phương Nam (Southern Land), a new film project on southern history and culture by blockbuster director Nguyễn Quang Dũng, began last week in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of the producer

HCM CITY — Casting for Đất Rừng Phương Nam (Southern Land), a new film on southern history and culture by blockbuster director Nguyễn Quang Dũng, has begun in HCM City.

Children aged between nine and 15 are encouraged to join the cast launched by the producer HK Film.

Đất Rừng Phương Nam is based on the famous novel of the same name by the late author Đoàn Giỏi, winner of the State Awards for Literature and Arts in 2001.

The movie will feature southerners, their history, culture and lifestyle.

It tells the adventures of a boy named Nam, who loses his family in a battle and lives in the southwestern region under the French colonists.

He learns new things and experiences with the help of many poor farmers and children, and travels around the region and witnesses the sufferings of farmers during the war.

He joins the Việt Minh guerrillas to fight against the French troops.

“We have invested both money and human resources in our film to meet the demand of Giỏi’s fans, who are of all ages and backgrounds,” said Nguyễn Trinh Hoan, owner of HK Film, in a recent interview with local media at the film launching ceremony in HCM City.

“We used a skilled staff including director Dũng, director of photography Diệp Thế Vinh, and music producer Đức Trí to make our film high quality in images, sound and light effects.”

Hoan also invited Meritorious Artist, film director and scriptwriter Nguyễn Vinh Sơn to work on the screenplay.

Sơn directed the 11-part TV series, Đất Phương Nam (Song of the South), which is based on Giỏi’s book, on the Hồ Chí Minh Television (HTV) in 1997.

His film won the first prize for Best TV Series at the 1997 National Film Festival presented by the Việt Nam Cinematography Association.

The TV series was subtitled in English and has been exported to the US, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

It is still rebroadcast on HTV channels and provincial TV stations.

Casting for the film Đất Rừng Phương Nam by director Dũng will close next month.

“I have five years to prepare for my film project Đất Rừng Phương Nam,” said director Dũng, who has 25 years in the industry.

“I hope my new version of Đất Rừng Phương Nam will be completed later this year and be in cinemas soon after.”

Director Nguyễn Quang Dũng (third from left) and his staff stand with child actors who will join the cast for his film Đất Rừng Phương Nam (Southern Land) produced by HK Film. Photo courtesy of HK Film

Novel

Đất Rừng Phương Nam is one of author Giỏi’s most favourite books.

Giỏi was born into a landlord family in Châu Thành District of Mỹ Tho Province (now Tiền Giang) in 1925. His family donated their properties to Việt Minh guerrillas after the August Revolution in 1945.

He wrote Đất Rừng Phương Nam in June 1957 when he was 32. One month later, it was released by the newly opened Kim Đồng Publishing House in Hà Nội.

The 255-page book is an epic in praise of southern people, their history and culture.

It provides readers, particularly children, with new ideas about nature, animals, rivers, plants and people of the south.

It also encourages people to love nature and discover the country and people.

The book has been printed in dozens of languages, such as English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish and Polish.

Its chapter titled Sông Nước Cà Mau (Rivers of Cà Mau) has been used in textbooks for sixth-grade students. — VNS

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