Tiếng Việt

Duy Tan Dream

Young Filmmakers’ Aspirations

The Danang Department of Culture and Sports licensed the DTU Silver Swallows Studio to launch its first historical film project “The First Swallows”, recreating the fierce air battle between the VPAF and the US Air Force for the Thanh Hoa Bridge, on April 4, 1965. At its premiere, the film immediately met with very positive reactions from the audience.
'Nh?ng cánh én d?u tiên' c?a th?y trò làm phim tay ngang ra r?p
Swallows do make a spring
The film attracted many viewers, and young people in particular, with its blend of documentary and 3D technology photo-reportage. Dr. Le Nguyen Bao, DTU Provost and Manager of the project, explained about this choice that it makes the film more accessible and inspiring to young people. According to Dr Bao, the current generation of young people, born in the industrial revolution 4.0, access and acquire knowledge very differently from previous generations. One example is reading. Time was when people with a passion for history would read a lot of books. For the 4.0 young generation, reading books the traditional way to learn about the world is no longer satisfactory. He said: “The Silver Swallows Studio wants to change young people’s viewpoint and focus them on learning about our history, so a more versatile teaching approach is required. Blending documentary and 3D technology photo-reportage will be more attractive for them.”
The First Swallows quite vividly recreates the bravery and determination of the Vietnam People’s Air Force (VPAF) fighters in the historical struggle against an enemy that was highly superior in both numbers, level of technology, and equipment , such as with the F-100 and F-105 jets used by the US. In particular, it shows the fight of April 4, 1965, by Tran Hanh’s squadron of the 921st Fighter Regiment, which counted four MiG-17 jets piloted by Tran Hanh, Pham Giay, Le Minh Huan, and Tran Nguyen Nam. With the epic battle, the VPAF successfully prevented the US Air Force from bombing the Thanh Hoa Bridge area, which was a strategic artery for the transport of supplies to South Vietnam. Three pilots perished and only Tran Hanh, the first one to down one of the modern F-105 Thunderchiefs in the war against the United States, survived, trying at any cost to preserve his MiG-17 with a belly landing in a dry stream in Ke Tam, Quynh Chau district, Nghe An province.
At the press conference, veteran pilot Ho Van Quy (number three at the battle of April 3, 1965, above Thanh Hoa where a 921st Fighter Regiment squadron of MiG-17s downed an American F-8) emotionally told he had seen many historical documentaries about the VPAF and the fight to protect Thanh Hoa Bridge almost 55 years ago, but this movie made by the young people of DTU was the first one he had seen about his own forces. For him, it was a very valuable film.
Mr Nguyen Ba Hai of Hai Au Aviation felt thrilled and also proud of the Vietnamese air forces when seeing the historical film.
“The name ‘silver swallows’ comes from the first completed film project,” Dr Bao explained about the name of the studio. “The person who named the studio is a friend and former production coordinator who met many pilots and who was fascinated by the MiG-17 silver swallow emblem. He therefore proposed it for the film studio, which up to then had just been known as the Duy Tan Film Studio. By now, the members of the film studio have come to consider the silver swallow as their personal emblem. Whether all the small silver swallows together make a spring is something we’ll discover in the future.”
'Nh?ng cánh én d?u tiên' c?a th?y trò làm phim tay ngang ra r?p
Filmmaking from national pride!
What impressed and surprised me most was that the movie was made by a film studio at a university, by non-professional filmmakers. Dr Bao explained that, although he did not pursue a career in filmmaking, he had an interest in military aviation and a passion for cinematography since he was a child. He saw many movies in a variety of genres. When studying in the US and watching 3D movies about the aerial war by the US Air Force during the Vietnam War, he found that they only showed scenes of American airplanes shooting down Vietnamese ones. This aroused his national pride, and he started nurturing the dream to make a movie about the VPAF when returning to Vietnam after his studies. After reading historical documentation related to the topic, he decided to choose the simplest aerial battle for this.
Based on initial impressions, Dr. Bao believed that the Thanh Hoa Bridge battle would be the easiest event to portray in the first stage. “However, once I started working on it, I found out that it wasn’t the slightest bit easy,” he explained. “Luckily, I had M. Didierjean from France, who was a key expert in the Silver Swallows team and suffered all along the way with me. At the most stressful moments, I wanted to search for another battle, but he encouraged me to continue to the end. The studio was developed through my personal passion and national pride, and I will persevere because of that. But by now, we have discovered many very talented professionals working in the studio, each with their own dream, so we are no longer limited to my own narrow passion. We can now shape our vision by the passions and aspirations of the entire Silver Swallows team.”
The studio was established at DTU because the university offers courses in Graphic Design and Multimedia Communications. Future plans are to continue with a fictional movie about the VPAF, to emphasize heroes with thoughts, feelings, and emotions, against the backdrop of the war. Further into the future, the studio may diversify to address other topics, such as history, love and students. From a personal perspective, Dr. Bao explained that he is still more inclined towards war movies, as “Vietnamese history has been shaped by the foundation, defense and opening up of the country. The world knows all about Vietnam because of this.”
From the desire to making a small contribution to adorning this heroic page in the history of the VPAF in the fight for national independence, the young people at Silver Swallows Studio confidently went all out, overcoming all challenges and accepting al risks, through all failures to success. In them, I found a way to look at life consisting of daring, going for it, and making one’s contribution.
(Media Center)