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Hands-On Vietnam Brings Intensive, Affordable Workshops to Saigon's Budding Filmmakers

In a city brimming with actors, producers and filmmakers, it’s hard to imagine that a communal space for collaboration didn't already exist. Until last week, informal spaces like Facebook groups offered the best go-to spots for creatives.

“The industry is very disconnected,” Dariya Kham, a Kazakhstani expat and former advertising professional, told Saigoneer via Skype. “The companies that do have websites were updated, you know, two years ago. They’re hard to discover.”

While producing ad campaigns, Kham has had a front-row seat to that disorganization for the past three years. Recognizing an opening, she and filmmaker Goyo Gomez launched Hands-On Vietnam, a platform and digital gathering space that they hope will offer convenience and organization to a very cluttered industry.

Only a week into existence, Hands-On is taking a big step with a filmmaking workshop starting this Friday, April 13. Open to all, the workshop will guide participants through the creation of a video concept, from inception to completion, over the course of three days.

Kham, who quit her job last month, speaks about making the workshop an affordable stepping stone into the industry. More established institutes and academies do exist in the city, but they are prohibitively expensive, she believes.

“There are so many young Vietnamese filmmakers who don’t have access to professional knowledge,” she explains.

The workshops will be orchestrated by Kham and Gomez, but will also include a cast of mentors including Singaporean producer Cecilia Ang and Australian drama coach Cory Jackson. They have agreed to take part, excited by the prospect of giving shape and coherence to the city's film industry.

That, ultimately, is Hands-On’s goal, Gomez tells Saigoneer. “The main idea of this workshop is continuity so that we can give the opportunity to everybody," he shares.

Apart from workshops, Hands-On will also develop a digital index of professionals from every field related to filmmaking, including editing, shooting, acting and sound design. Through an easy-to-use “Finder” tool on their website, Kham and Gomez hope to make it easier than ever for collaboration to occur.

Visit Hands-On Vietnam's official website here for more information about the upcoming filmmaking workshop.

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