Director Huynh Tuan Anh: “It’s my dream to export Vietnamese culture”

Sunday, 2021-01-17 14:52:20
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Director Huynh Tuan Anh
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NDO - Director Huynh Tuan Anh’s historical drama “Phuong Khau” (known as The Emperor’s Gift in English) has been named one of the best Asian TV shows of 2020 by NME Australia, placing it alongside popular Netflix titles such as Itaewon Class and Kingdom.

Nhan Dan had an interview with Director Anh on the series.

Q: How did you feel when Phuong Khau was named one of the best Asian TV shows by NME?

A: The production team and I are very happy to see a Vietnamese show on the list as one of the shows most loved and supported by audiences. I am even happier to know that foreign viewers watched it and discovered unique things about Vietnamese culture. I am also glad to know that through the show, foreign friends have acquired a better understanding of Vietnamese culture, from that we can see just how attractive our traditional culture is. As they voted for the show, I believe that Vietnamese culture has moved their hearts, reinforcing my strong belief that bringing Vietnamese culture to the world, in other words, exporting culture, is entirely feasible and calls for even larger projects.

Q: As one of the few historical dramas in Vietnam, Phuong Khau has brought great success to you and the production team.. But why are there not many directors and producers pursuing this genre?

A: The reason is the high costs involved while Vietnam’s film industry remains only of fledgling size. We should acknowledge that in order to produce a historical drama, in addition to the directors and screenplay writers, those in charge of scene settings, lighting and props also have to possess knowledge about Vietnamese history and culture.

One of the initial difficulties is that we do not have experience in making historical dramas and we do not have production teams with sufficient knowledge about history and culture as well as a passion for exploring it deeply. We also do not have a standard coursebook for this genre, making it difficult to pursue.

The poster of Phuong Khau (The Emperor's Gift)

Q: Both domestic and foreign audiences gave very positive receptions for Phuong Khau and are expecting new projects. What is your plan for 2021?

A: Although this is my first production on the theme of history and contains many imperfections, I will persist in following the path of making films about Vietnamese history and culture, albeit a difficult one.

I hope that in 2021 the pandemic will be soon eliminated so that our sponsors and brands can provide better backing for Phuong Khau’s second season. In addition to the plan for Phuong Khau, I have received many invitations from Vietnamese people in Europe. When the conditions allow, I will take Phuong Khau to other countries for screenings, the first destination being the Czech Republic following an invitation to introduce Vietnam’s old costumes and traditional music. After the screening, there will be an exchange for the audience to understand more about Vietnamese culture and more importantly to introduce Vietnamese culture to second-generation and third-generation Vietnamese people in Europe.

I want to bring Vietnamese culture to faraway lands with the pride of Vietnam’s unique culture riding on the boat of cinema. Phuong Khau is a project which I and some other young people are very passionate about, which arose from the love for our country. I want to export Vietnamese culture like other major cinemas in the region are doing and it is the biggest goal I am focussed on.

Thank you very much!