Film production companies seek PM approval for mid-October reboot

By Mai Nhat   September 29, 2021 | 12:46 am PT
Film production companies seek PM approval for mid-October reboot
A movie theater in HCMC is disinfected for coronavirus prevention, May 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Film and television production companies have sent a request to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh seeking to resume operations on Oct. 15.

In the request sent to the PM and HCMC People's Committee last week, 20 HCMC-based enterprises, including Galaxy Play, BHD and Dat Viet VAC said the industry had been seriously affected by Covid in the past two years.

During the fourth outbreak starting late April, Ho Chi Minh City's month-long lockdown caused the production and release of film series and TV programs to be delayed, then indefinitely postponed.

The enterprises added that many employees had suffered income and job losses. Meanwhile, the rent for premises and staff salaries still need to be paid. They are also worried about the shortage of domestic films and TV shows, leading to the dependence on foreign supply.

The companies said they did not apply for financial support, but only asked for a mechanism to operate in the new normal from Oct. 15.

They planned to reduce the number of personnel on set, make sure film crew members have been vaccinated and tested negative and conducting PCR testing among groups of 10 people before filming.

Each film crew appoints one person to manage compliance with anti-epidemic activities.

They also proposed to produce shows in isolated places like film studios, inactive eco-tourism areas, or residential areas with no population.

Film industry revenue was strongly affected during the fourth Covid wave that hit Vietnam in late April.

Nguyen Thi Mai Hoa, general director of the Galaxy cinema, a popular chain in Vietnam, said that over the past four months, the company had closed 18 theaters across the country. But it still had to pay a series of costs related to premises, machinery maintenance and staff salaries.

She stated the company suffered a loss of tens of billions of dong (VND1 billion=$43,000) per month. After four months, the number has increased to nearly VND100 billion.

Ly Hai, a movie director, said he has lost VND10 billion for marketing and promotion when his film got delayed.

In early May, movie screenings were suspended when cinemas in HCMC and Hanoi were ordered to temporaly shut down.

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