Is Southeast Asian Cinema Catching Up To Hollywood?
Southeast Asian filmmakers celebrated the region’s cinematic achievements while lamenting the difficulty of competing with Hollywood’s pulling power at a film festival on the sidelines of the Bali Asean Summit on Wednesday.
Participants said there were two main problems holding back the region’s national film industries: a lack of output and the relatively small local audiences.
“Five years ago we were producing hundreds of films, but we’re down to dozens now,” said Jose Miguel De La Rosa, a filmmaker from the Philippines.
Dang Nath Min, a cinematographer from Vietnam, said that Hollywood’s superior financial clout and marketing skills meant that consumers, and in particular younger moviegoers, tended to prefer the US product over their own nation’s films.
The two-day Asean Film Festival opened on Wednesday with a screening of a Burmese film, “Zaw-Ka Ka Nay Thi,” about a traditional medicine-maker with a talent for dance. The film earned Mee Pwar the Best Director award at the Myanmar Academy Awards.