Vietnamese, Hollywood films hit cinemas in festive season hinh anh 1Teenage actress Lam Thanh My plays in 'Bong De' (The Ancestral), a long-awaited horror movie directed and written by Le Van Kiet, which is coming to cinemas on December 24. (Photo courtesy of the producer)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - A number of Vietnamese and Hollywood movies will be released during the festive season to attract audiences back to the cinemas.

Bong De (The Ancestral), a long-awaited horror movie directed and written by Le Van Kiet, is coming to cinemas on December 24. Even though the film has not been officially released, it has already been licensed for distribution in 25 countries.

The work revolves around a widower named Thanh and his two daughters. After suffering a family tragedy, Thanh and his children move to a centuries-old ancestral home where both daughters fall prey to sleep paralysis and night terrors.

The film features actor Quang Tuan and teenage actresses Lâm Thanh My and Mai Cat Vi.

My, 15, rose to fame when acting in the award-winning movie Toi Thay Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh (Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass) in 2015.

Meanwhile, the 12-year-old Vi is known for a supporting role in the action movie Hai Phuong (Furie), another work by director Kiet which earned 160 billion VND (6.9 million VND) in the domestic market and 40 billion VND in the international market.

Kiet graduated from the School of Theater, Film and Television at University of California, Los Angeles.

His popular works include horror film Ngoi Nha Trong Hem (House in the Ally) and mystery-thriller Diu Dang (Gentle) – a modern Vietnamese adaptation of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel A Gentle Creature.

Another Vietnamese film, Bay Ngot Ngao (Naked Truth), a directorial debut by female director Dinh Ha Uyen Thu, is set to premiere on December 31.

Thư, who is famous for producing viral music videos for Vietnamese pop stars like Son Tung M-TP, Noo Phuoc Thinh and Toc Tien, has spent three years on the drama about love, friendship and marriage.

The film features Bao Anh, Minh Hang and Dieu Nhi, who are expected to guarantee box-office success for the film. 

“We’ve spent a tough year due to the pandemic. We set the premiere day of Bay Ngot Ngao on December 31, a special day when people welcome a new year. Out with the old, in with the new!" said singer-actress Minh Hang, the film’s producer.

“The year-end season is the perfect time for a film release. Despite competing with Hollywood blockbusters, Vietnamese film producers have been working very hard to bring audiences quality productions. I believe our works are going to bear fruit and the Vietnamese film industry will see a bright journey in 2022,” said the 35-year-old.

Bay Ngot Ngao was scheduled to be released in May, but was postponed because of the fourth wave of COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rung The Mang (Survive), a psychological thriller by director Tran Huu Tan, which was scheduled to be released in June, will be in cinemas on December 31.

In addition, the festive season will see the premiere of Hollywood films in Vietnam such as No Time To Die, Spider-man: No Way Home, Fast and Furious 9, and The Matrix Resurrections.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, chief content officer of CJ CGV Vietnam, said: “CGV hopes the reopening of cinemas revives the film industry. The company is ready to serve audiences with many Vietnamese and Hollywood films. In addition, many special Vietnamese film productions are completed and expected to premiere in the holiday season and for Tết (Lunar New Year).”

On November 19, HCM City authorities allowed cinemas to reopen in low risk (green), medium risk (yellow) and high risk (orange) zones, but not in very high risk red zones. Cinemas in green zones can operate at full capacity, while cinemas in yellow and orange zones must limit their capacity to 50 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Employees and customers need to be fully vaccinated and must comply with 5K COVID-safety rules, and use QR codes and apps to make medical declarations.

Despire reopening, cinemas owned by Thien Ngan (Galaxy) Cinemas, CGV, Lotte and BHD have not seen many moviegoers in recent days. 
Nguyễn Minh Đức of District 2 said he decided to go to the cinema alone, and not accompany his group of friends, to avoid gatherings.

“Many people are still worried about COVID-19, so they go to the cinema alone or stay at home to watch movies on streaming platforms,” Duc said.

Hai of CGV said since reopening, revenue has reached 30-35 percent compared to before the pandemic./.