After rejecting plagiarism allegations and telling Vietnamese public since 2010 that all similarities of his film “Inferno” with the Hollywood movie “Shattered” are just coincidental, on March 4, 2011 Victor Vu was found guilty of copying Shattered in Vietnam’s first film plagiarism case after Vietnamese cinema regulators watched and compared the two movies.
Reported by Tuoi Tre News on March 5, 2011:
After many controversies and debates that “Giao Lo Dinh Menh” (English title: Inferno) directed by Victor Vu is just a knockoff version of Hollywood’s “Shattered”, Golden Kite Award’s BOE has decided to drop this film from the competition.
Victor Vu found guilty of plagiarism
Victor Vu said to Vietnamese public “I wrote the script myself when I was a student” and “All the similarities are just coincidental” but went silent after cinema regulators decided to watch both “Inferno” and Wolfgang Petersen’s “Shattered” to compare.
In the face of strong allegations from the public and local media that the film “Giao Lo Dinh Menh” (Inferno) is a frame-by-frame copy of Hollywood movie “Shattered”, Dang Xuan Hai – president of Vietnam Cinema Association – together with his colleagues and some journalists have decided to eliminate the film from the competition after watching and comparing the two movies.
Cinema regulators watched both “Inferno” and “Shattered” to compare the two movies before ejecting Inferno from the Vietnam awards. A video clip on social networks also shows similarities.
Golden Kite award (Canh Dieu Vang) is Vietnam’s most prestigious movie festival, equivalent to a local Oscar event.
The film by Victor Vu has caused quite a stir and controversies among online community of Vietnamese movie lovers.
They claimed “Inferno” copied up to 70 percent of “Shattered”.
Vu did not just lift the plot and characters, but even the music.
A reader nicknamed Mike wrote on Twitchfilm: “It is very dishonest and shameful in the case of Victor Vu. He copied ‘Shattered’ to make his ‘Inferno’ and then bragged in the media that it was all his own creativity and how great he is.”
Other strong condemnations from the online community against the director include:
“It is not a remake, it is called stealing! It is blatant theft.”
Even the film’s poster duplicates “Shattered”
But Victor Vu told the media the resemblance is only accidental.
Prior to the film’s release, he said he wrote the script for it when still a student in the School of Cinema and Television. Later he admitted “the similarity [with Shattered”] is spine-chilling.”
Vietnam Television News. Victor Vu’s “Inferno” had a good start until news of the plagiarism became public
The film had a good start until news of the plagiarism became public. People then began to keep away and the producers took it out of the theatres just after a week.
After local media and the public exposed his method of plagiarism, Victor Vu and producer Irene Trinh held press conference to explain to the Vietnamese public that “the Hollywood Creative Process means films must be identical from A to Z by coincidence”
According to the BOE, since the Golden Kite Awards’ goal is to honor creative artworks, “Inferno” is unqualified to attend this year’s competition.
However, the organizers also made a rational decision when they encouraged Saiga Film, the production company of Inferno, to voluntarily withdraw the movie because of possible damaging consequences that could arise from copyright violations, which could badly impact the Vietnam Cinema’s reputation.
Vietnam television news program “Radar on Vietnamese Culture” scrutinizes Victor Vu’s plagiarism problems and copyright violation issues in Vietnamese movies
The Golden Kite Awards, which first started in 2003, is an annual event organized by Vietnam Cinema Association for feature, video and television films produced in the preceding year. The organizing board presents the Golden, Silver and Bronze Kite Awards for the best films.