Hanoi-focused script ideas win Discovery channel contest

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Five script ideas featuring Hanoi and its people on Wednesday won a filmmaking competition held by the US satellite and cable channel, Discovery.

As winners of the first contest held by the satellite channel in Vietnam, Nguyen Manh Ha, Phan Duy Linh, Phan Y Ly, Dao Thanh Tung and Hoang Manh Cuong will cooperate with Uproar Asia, Singapore-based provider of factual media services, to make documentaries based on their ideas.

Another two script ideas by Pham Huong Giang and Dao Thanh Hung have been chosen as backups.

Once the films are telecast on the Discovery channel, the Vietnamese filmmakers will get the opportunity to tell the world about the country's small stories, Vikram Khanna, Vice President of content with Discovery Networks' Asia-Pacific division told Thanh Nien.

Known as First Time Filmmakers Vietnam with Discovery, the competition was themed on urbanization and received nearly 100 entries from across the nation, 12 of which were short-listed for the final contest in which contestants presented their ideas to the jury.

Similar competitions have previously been held in other Asia-Pacific countries including Australia, China, and Malaysia, Khanna said.

The competition aims to give local filmmakers the opportunity to work with foreign partners and target the world market, he added.

The contest in Vietnam was sponsored with US$250,000 by the Ford Foundation, which was has given some $6 million to Vietnam's film industry over the past 13 years. The Manhattan-headquartered foundation, however, was closed down its office in Hanoi last month following the impacts of the global economic downturn.

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