Sunday, 18 Aug 2019

Vietnamese-American producer puts heart and mind on CNN’s Hanoi show

Updated at Thursday, 01 Jun 2017, 16:36
The Hanoitimes - The latest CNN #MyHanoi program showcased the fascination of Vietnam’s capital city through local photographers’ perspective.
 On the journey to explore the hidden beauty of Hanoi, CNN's film crew visited local renown photographers who are passionate to “capture” moments in the capital, shooting  from landscape to  portraits and street life.
Explore Hanoi via the lens of its photographers
Among those photographers, Pham Linh love hanging out and take pictures at night, sometimes wandering  from midnight until dawn, camera in his hand and shoots  workers in Long Bien market, police officer on duty or a couple taking wedding photos around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Tran Lan Chi, another photographer is  a native of Hanoi, who  has a strong attachment to her hometown. For her, "every corner of Hanoi is a source of inspiration, from sidewalk cafes to trees, people and ancient buildings."
Meanwhile, the Spanish diplomat, Javier Puig Saura is impressed by the Hanoians in a different way. He is a "Mr. Foreigner" who drinks beer, chats and takes pictures of people, sometimes he even presents the printed portrait photos to the "models".
That’s some slices of the show.
The "Father" of #MyHanoi
It remains unknown for many that #MyHanoi director is a 26-year-old Vietnamese American Dan Tham. He shared with Hanoitimes that he has been working for CNN for four years and his first program is about Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, his homeland. "It's both a huge challenge and a great experience," the young director said.
Vietnamese-American producer Dan Tham
Vietnamese-American producer Dan Tham

Basing on which criteria that you chose the six characters for the show? How this idea come to you and how did you carry it out?
When selecting the #MyHanoi participants, I have a few factors in mind. Firstly, they are mostly Vietnamese, coming from Hanoi and having a deep understanding of the city. Secondly, they have different photographic personalities to create diversity in sharing and expression. While Javier Puig Saura has a preference for portraits of Hanoians, Lan Chi focuses on the beauty of ancient architecture. The last and most important criterion is that they have their own story about Hanoi to share with the world.
#MyHanoi was made in nearly 4 months. We started looking for the characters from November 2016 and it took a lot of time to get ideas, talk about sharing content, while the filming process took 1 week, right before Lunar New Year festival in Vietnam and completed in 2 weeks later.
What is the message that the program wants to convey to viewers in Vietnam as well as in the world?
Photographers work in different fields... but in common, they are all passionate to this city. As a Vietnamese American, I have been to Hanoi, but the experiences with characters like drinking Hanoi beer, walking on the walking streets, coming into the old quarter, enjoying the specialties of the capital, help me learn more about Hanoi.
I hope those who enjoy the program will know more about the beauty of Hanoi. Moreover, as Mr. Hai Thanh – one of the photographer in the show shared with CNN: "If you love your city, the city will love you back", the message needs to be spread and inspire the Hanoians to constantly search for beautiful values, exploring the city through new perspectives and love it more.
Can you share the difficulties while producing #MyHanoi?
My biggest pressure is to make sure the stories about Hanoi are presented in the most authentic way. In the limited time of 30 minutes, it is difficult to convey the full beauty of Hanoi and we have to choose unique features such as egg coffee, ancient French houses background, life at the foot of the Long Bien Bridge. The music used in the program is also Vietnamese-made songs with the interesting sharing of photographers contributing greatly to the program.
Thank you for sharing!
Tu Anh
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