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Welcome Back for Rithy Panh

Thyna / Khmer Times Share:
Welcome Back for Rithy Panh

PHNOM PENH, March 29:  (Khmer Times/Thyna) – Bophana Center was packed with groups of Cambodian young filmmakers, friends, and family of Rithy Panh, who had gathered to congratulate and welcome him back from his journey to Hollywood.
Rithy Panh’s latest film, The Missing Picture, entered the 86th Academy Awards ceremony, being nominated for  the Best Foreign Language Film category. 
The film was narrated in first person experience sharing Mr. Panh’s bitter childhood during the Khmer Rouge regime. Characters in the film were carved using clay, depicting real-life events.
The night was inspirational for young Cambodian filmmakers who are proud of Mr. Panh’s achievements as they got to talk and share experiences with him. 
An amateur filmmaker, Polen Ly, who won 2nd place at Tropest South-East Asia, said that he was inspired by Rithy’s technique in using clay to portrait Rithy’s movie. 
“Uncle Rithy’s film was creative and touching. He used clay to tell his story, and this is something new. You haven’t seen that anywhere in the world. Also, in filmmaking, it is important to tell the audience the story and [Rithy] was really good at telling his own personal story. It has many qualities”, said Polen.
Mr. Panh passionately said that upon his return, he will mainly be involved with these amateur Cambodian filmmakers as a mentor, to train and guide them to make quality films.
“These young ones, they are all talented, but they need to be trained well in filming, directing, vocal projecting, and so on, so that they can be quality filmmakers,” he said.
Mr. Simon Choo, distribution director of Westec Media, described Mr. Panh’s film as extraordinary, being the 1st Oscar-nominated film in the South-East Asia Region. 
He said, “Mr. Panh is very passionate in the film industry. He is what young Cambodians need as a mentor. What he did was an inspiration; his new techniques, his genre proved that he could make it this far. He will be the mentor that can bring this industry forward.” 
2014 has been a significant year for Cambodia’s filmmaking industry as it has started to emerge on the international stage with two young incredibly talented filmmakers, Sothea Ines and Polen Ly taking home the first and first-runner up Tropfest awards earlier in January, and Mr. Rithy Panh, being chosen as an Oscar nominee in March.

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