Cinemas to screen local hits

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Summer's been and gone. And, it's taken the big blockbusters with it. The coming months are usually fairly quiet for cinemas. This year will be different. A number of local films are set to screen nationwide.

One eagerly-anticipated film is Giao lo dinh menh (Inferno). It tells the story of gangster who is involved in a car crash. He suffers from amnesia. As he recovers, he remembers his life before the accident and begins to regret his past. As events unfold, he will have to pay the price for his actions.

The long-awaited thriller deals with fate, destiny and the consequences of one's actions as its subject matter. It is the second movie from Vietnamese-American director Victor Vu, after the award-winning Chuyen tinh xa xu (Passport to love) shot in both Vietnam and the US.

Producers claim that "Inferno" is the first Vietnamese-made Hitchcock-style thriller.

The 93-minute production from Saiga Films and Star Media Group has a cast that includes models Binh Minh, Vu Thu Phuong and Hua Vi Van.

"Inferno" will be screened nationwide on Friday next week and is expected to show in the US next month.

Another possible box office hit this year is Ngoc vien dong (Oriental pearls), one of the first Vietnamese arthouse productions. It features seven short films that have been adapted from Vietnamese short stories. Locations include Sa Pa, Phan Thiet, Hoi An, Binh Duong, Ho Chi Minh City and places as far afield as Canada.

"Oriental pearls" has a star studded cast with names including Ngo Thanh Van, Hong Anh, Truong Ngoc Anh, Nhu Quynh, Minh Ngoc, Phuong Quynh and Kieu Trinh, each of whom play the main female role in the short films.

Director Cuong also invited several foreign actors to join the cast.

Cuong highlighted that foreign producers might be interested in the film because it illustrates the nature of Vietnamese people.

Cuong, who has won several international awards, thought about sending his film to festivals including Cannes, Venice,

Toronto and as many others as he can to promote Vietnam and its women.

Everyone involved lent their services for free. The film will be screened nationwide in December.

According to local media, the most eagerly-awaited film this year is Canh dong bat tan (The endless field) adapted from the namesake short story which has won acclaim and been debated over by readers and critics.

The work by Nguyen Ngoc Tu, released in 2003, is the story of a peasant family's unexpected involvement with a prostitute.

The film's expected release date is in November.

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