Vietnam’s movie business is growing quickly. New theaters are being built across the country. Young filmmakers are entering the market.

In the past, movies about Vietnam centered on Hollywood’s ideas about the Vietnam War. They starred American actors with Vietnamese playing background parts. But this is changing.

Academy Awards submission

Ngo Thanh Van became an international movie star with her part in the latest version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Now she has turned to directing. Her newest film is called The Tailor. It will be Vietnam’s official entry for next year’s Academy Awards in the foreign language category.

“Making movies in the Vietnamese market is a risky business, not just for me,” Van told the internet news site Zing. “But it is because it is difficult that I want to put all my heart into doing it."

Increasing demand

Increasing interest is coming from both Vietnamese filmmakers and Vietnamese movie-goers. The theater group CGV reported a 30 percent increase in profits for 2017 compared to the year before. CGV is just one company that shows movies, but it controls nearly half the movie theaters in the Southeast Asian country.

Critics call it a monopoly, but its market position shows the industry’s growth. Besides the South Korean-owned CGV, other movie theater companies in Vietnam include BHD, Galaxy, Skyline, Cinestar, Cinebox and Lotte.

The investment advice company Investar wrote in an analysis of the film industry: “When a country develops, the next developmental need will be entertainment, so it is important to capture this demand.” It also said that money is being invested in the business.

Diaspora comes home

The growth of Vietnamese movies comes as more Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American actors appear in international films. The Netflix movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before stars a Vietnamese-American born in the Mekong Delta area. In Downsizing, actor Matt Damon performs with Hong Chau, who uses a thick Vietnamese accent but earned a Golden Globe nomination.

And people with Vietnamese ancestry are returning. American actors, directors, producers and film editors have returned to Vietnam in recent years, like Johnny Tri and Charlie Nguyen.

Filmmakers from France, a former colonial ruler of Vietnam, have also arrived, such as two French-Vietnamese who set up an animation business in Ho Chi Minh City.

Performer Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen said on her Facebook page, “If you support Vietnamese movies, the movies will be profitable, and investors will put in more money.”

She added that Vietnam has plenty of beautiful areas to film movies.

Vietnamese-language films are being watched around the world. They include films like Cyclo and The White Silk Dress. Local people hope those are just the start of a growing trend.

Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.

category (n.) /ˈkætəˌgori/ - a group of people or things that are similar in some way

  • The cars belong to the same category.

monopoly (n.) /məˈnɑːpəli/ - complete control of the entire supply of goods or of a service in a certain area or market

  • The company has gained/acquired a (virtual/near) monopolyof/on/over the logging industry in this area.

entertainment (n.) /ˌɛntɚˈteɪnmənt/ - amusement or pleasure that comes from watching a performer, playing a game, etc.

  • Entertainment was provided by jugglers.

analysis (n.) /əˈnæləsis/ - a careful study of something to learn about its parts, what they do, and how they are related to each other

  • a scientific analysis of the data

animation (n.) /ˌænəˈmeɪʃən/ - a way of making a movie by using a series of drawings, computer graphics, or photographs of objects (such as puppets or models) that are slightly different from one another and that when viewed quickly one after another create the appearance of movement

  • The animation for the film took over two years to complete.

trend (n.) /ˈtrɛnd/ - a way of behaving, proceeding, etc., that is developing and becoming more common

  • Digital technology is the current trend in television.


Exercise 2


Answer these questions about the article.

  1. Does Vietnam have an entry at the academy awards?
  2. What was the increase in profits?
  3. At what rate is Vietnam economy increasing?


Exercise 3


Please give your opinion on the following statement and give your reasons behind it.

  • Having a strong film industry in your country is really importan for the culture


Exercise 4 


Have a discussion on following questions.

  1. Do you like watching movies?
  2. What are your favourite?
  3. Is there a film industry in your country?
  4. What are the classic movies from your country?
  5. Do you have a favourite genre?




This lesson is based on a news article originally published by learningenglish.voanews.