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Prime-Time Ban on Foreign Productions From New Year

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:

The directive banning the screening of foreign films during the prime-time slot at Cambodia-based television stations will move ahead and be more strictly enforced from January 1, according to the Information Ministry.

Implementation of the controversial directive banning foreign films was first slated to commence from November 1 amid complaints from television stations that had gained public popularity by airing foreign-made films and programs that they needed more time to prepare local content.

The Information Ministry first issued the directive to air locally produced productions from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm to all 17 local television stations in September. According to the ministry, the move aims to improve and encourage local producers’ and actors’ work and also to promote Khmer culture. 

The ministry said that any televisions that fail to comply with the decision will face having their television licenses revoked.

From early next year, the directive of banning foreign movies and television shows will be strictly implemented, said Information Minister Kheiu Kanharith.

Som Chhaya, deputy director general of PNN Television, said that the directive will affect his television station, but he added that there was nothing he could do about it.

“We have to follow the ministry’s directive,” Mr. Chhaya said. “We’ve already prepared local productions and programming.”
Despite banning foreign productions during prime-time television programming, the Information Ministry nevertheless said it welcomed and encouraged television owners to air foreign films and programs for Cambodian people at other times of the day.

Presiding over a workshop on Chinese film yesterday to announce that the Information Ministry’s National Television of Cambodia (TVK) will be showing the popular Chinese television series “Three Kingdoms,” Mr. Kanharith said that watching foreign-made productions will help Cambodian people gain knowledge about other traditions and arts. 

Som Sokun, a Ministry of Culture and Fine Art official, said he highly welcomed the screening of Chinese television series on TVK. 

“Chinese television is a platform for enhancing cultural cooperation between Cambodia and China … and it will boost relations between the two countries.” 

TVK has aired foreign and movies and programs since 1983, including productions from France and Russia, Mr. Kanharith said. He added that TVK was now in talks with partners in Japan and South Korea about providing television series for Cambodia. 

Airing foreign-made films and programs will give Cambodians insights into other cultures, lifestyles and arts, which is especially important for people who work in the television and movie entertainment world because it gives them a chance to compare their abilities with others, said Mr. Kanharith.

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