Truc "Charlie" Nguyen may be taking a
break, but there is always something on his mind.
mind is always on film, even though I many be
on holiday or taking a break from work,”
the 39-year-old tells movieXclusive.com over the
phone from his hotel room recently.
always thinking about collaborations with others
on how to make films. Wherever I go, I see things
and I think about how they can be part of a film.”
Vietnamese American film producer, director, screen
writer and martial arts action director was in
Singapore to promote his film The Rebel, which
was showcased at the 21st Singapore International
Film Festival as part of the “55 Years of
Vietnam Film section. Nguyen’s third feature
was a big local hit in his home country, winning
the Best Audience Choice Award at the 2007 Vietnamese
International Film Festival. It is also the most
expensive Vietnamese film to date. The action
genre film is inspired by the stories his grandfather
told him when he was growing up.
grandfather had all this life stories about guerilla
warfare, and I guess they have all been embedded
into my subconscious,” says the Saigon-born
remembers being influenced and stirred by the
old Shaw Brothers action movies from Hong Kong
when he was 17 years old. Together with his brother,
they would practice martial arts and make short
films of that genre.
made short little films, edit them and put them
together to show our friends,” chuckles
the chatty filmmaker.
The SIFF’s selection of Vietnamese films
aims to promote appreciation and research of Vietnamese
cinema to as wide an audience as possible. Nguyen
feels that there is sign of a progressing film
industry in Vietnam: “In the past 20 to
30 years, due to economy and censorship issues,
there isn’t really a film industry so to
speak. But in the past few years, there is support
from the government and there are more opportunities
and freedom to tell stories.
it’s definitely more encouraging for Vietnamese
filmmakers to return home to make films now,”
attended the University of California Los Angeles
film extension program, Nguyen suggests that there
should be more support from Asian audiences to
attain a thriving Asian filmmaking scene.
key issue is to build an Asian audience fan base.
Regardless of borders, there should be unity and
markets for Asian filmmakers to showcase their
works,” states the Vietnamese Diaspora,
whose latest film has been picked up for distribution
by The Weinstein Company.
asked about his impression of Singapore, Nguyen,
who has been here once, has this to say: “If
I were a girl, I’d definitely feel very
safe and secure. Your country feels kind hearted
and gentle in many ways.”
By John Li