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How Vietnamese Cinema Is Riding the Crest of the Korean Wave

2015 was quite a year for Vietnamese cinema. Take, for instance, Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass, the film adaptation of celebrated novelist Nguyen Nhat Anh's coming-of-age story: whether it was screening at high-profile film festivals, taking home international awards or becoming the highest-grossing Vietnamese drama of all time, the movie helped to connect the country and its filmmakers with international film audiences. In theaters at home, smash hit Em La Ba Noi Cua Anh, a local remake of a Korean comedy-drama, trounced the almighty Star Wars: The Force Awakens in its opening weekend. Both among Vietnam's massive moviegoing audience and beyond, local flicks are beginning to take control of the box office.

Backed by Korean giant CJ Entertainment, a partner company of CGV cinemas, Vietnamese filmmakers seem to be continuing this trend, reports Variety, as CJ gears up for its next big Vietnamese release, Tracer. Known to local audiences as Truy Sat, the action-packed thriller is scheduled to premiere in Vietnam this April and is also being launched at Berlin's European Film Market, a major film distribution event at which CJ will handle the film's international sales.

Beyond earning a little attention outside of Vietnam's borders, high-quality productions like these show continued proof of the local film industry's growth, as well as CJ's interest in moving Vietnamese cinema beyond the latest imported Hollywood blockbusters and Hallyu favorites. Ever since the Korean firm acquired Megastar in 2011, then Vietnam's largest cinema chain, CGV and its partners have grown the domestic box office to US$100 million a year and cultivated Vietnamese talent in the process.

Tracer is directed by Cuong Ngo and stars actors Truong Ngoc Anh and Thien Nguyen. Check out a glimpse of the action below:

[Video via YouTube user Cuong Ngo]

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