The national television festival began on Dec. 18 in the central city of Da Nang, bringing together producers and other broadcast professionals to share experiences.

About 700 entries from both State-owned and private studios will also rival for recognition as the best works of 2011.

Eight categories including children's programming; documentary and reporting; short reporting; science and education programmes; talk shows; ethnic programmes; music shows; and television series will be judged by different jury panels.

The works reflect the country's political, social, economic and cultural achievements as well as current issues such as hunger and poverty, corruption and the campaign to emulate President Ho Chi Minh's moral example, according to the organising committee.

The festival used to be limited to State-owned studios, but private studios recently have been allowed to take part. This year, 12 private studios are competing in the three categories of reporting, talk shows and documentaries.

"Many high-quality productions have been made by private studios," said Nguyen Ha Nam , deputy head of the organising committee. "It isn't reasonable for them to be absent from the festival."

The director of the private studio Phuoc Sang will also serve this year on the six-member jury panel for the television series. The panel, chaired by writer and playwright Le Phuong, has already started reviewing entries in the multiple-episode category (10-50 episodes) that includes VTV Film Centre's Chu Tich Tinh (Provincial Chairman); TK-L Communication's Goi Nang (Sun Hailing); and World Star Communication's Huyen Su Thien Do (Legendary History of the Citadel).

Three workshops and two exhibitions will be included as part of the festival. The workshops will discuss how to manage and evaluate the quality of television shows, television technology development, and co-operation between the national and local televisions. A forum will also be held to discuss cultural heritage conservation and development./.