Saturday, November 9, 2013

Banned Vietnamese Action Film CHO LON Leaked Online, Investigation Now Underway

In a startling update for the dead-on-arrival Vietnamese martial arts gangster thriller, Bui Doi Cho Lon, Twitchfilm delivered a report this week that the film was briefly leaked on the web. As if the film being banned by Vietnamese censors wasn't poor enough, director Charlie Nguyen gave a statement expressing his personal sadness for how his film is getting treated by on-line web customers.

"Leaving the side the situation of BDCL being banned, or who leaked the film without having considering the heavy losses to the filmmakers and the danger they face before the law." he says. "I was entirely shocked and deeply hurt as if somebody had killed my child. This is a rough draft, not completely edited in the story, sound, light, colour, specific effects and composition. It is a version that I in no way want anybody to see since it's food that's not completely cooked. But now I have to sit right here as folks watch this extremely undesirable draft and judge the film on that basis. Whoever leaked the film was ignorant and really cruel to BDCL's cast and crew. Hopefully he will soon be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

The film was originally slated for an April 19, 2013 release, only to face severe scrutiny when Vietnamese censors delayed the film's premiere early that month, deciding that the film wasn't appropriate for release until specific scenes were taken out, re-shot or re-written altogether. Considering that then, the film continued its social networking promotional push in addition to sharing behind the scenes footage, stills and a magazine cast shoot. In spite of all this, which includes efforts by Charlie and the crew to meet the necessary standards to release the film, much to the chagrin of martial arts cinema fans, as well as the film's cast and crew, the film was ultimately banned in Vietnam, which paralyzed any effort to potentially release the film outdoors the country's borders.

Many filmakers spoke out in protest of of the board's choice at the time, such as the film's lead actor and action choreographer, Johnny Tri Nguyen, stating "What is much more to be said? It's like losing my son.".

To combat this, the Vietnamese Division Of Cinema created a current announcement to the press in Hanoi regarding a program to turn Vietnam's local film industry into Southeast Asia's top marketplace by 2020, a program which would also elimiate the existing rating program by which films are granted release. The move has sparked a new conversation by major experts and other film figures criticizing the new announcement, such as screenwriter Nguyen Thi Hong Ngat who known as the seven year goal amongst other factors, "a fantasy".

The leak of Charlie Nguyen's unreleased film, Bui Doi Cho Lon, is at present beneath heavy investigation as authorities are now searching for out the source of the leak.

Special thanks to the wonderful writers at Twitch covering all angles of the on-going story about Vietnam's film market as the news develops.

Banned Vietnamese Action Film CHO LON Leaked Online, Investigation Now Underway
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