High Hopes for the Local Film Industry

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A scene from “The Torment of the Ghost” film directed by Huy Yaleng. The film will hit Cambodian cinemas in February 28. Supplied

The Year of the Pig is a lucky year for the local film industry as one of our own films will soon be screening in cinemas around Asia.

“The Torment of the Ghost” – a horror movie about the killings during the Khmer Rouge regime – will be shown in Cambodia starting February 28 in all major cinemas in Phnom Penh and in Siem Reap. And this horror film will soon be attracting an international audience as it goes to several countries for special screenings.

Supplied.

The film, starred by Huy Yaleng, revolves around the story of Sovann, who sees ghosts. The lead character will be the one to bridge the ghosts from the Khmer Rouge regime to the people in the present time.

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“I want the young generation to know what happened during the Khmer Rouge regime. This movie will connect the past and our present, and will let us understand more what our elders had gone through. This will remind people of the consequences of war,” said Huy Yaleng, who is also the director and writer of the film under the Meatochakfilm Production.

Yaleng, who is now 39 years old, said that he has been through two eras of the film industry in Cambodia. He has been a witness of how the cinema has developed and improved over the years. And as the qualities of local films get better, Yaleng said he also sees that the new generation is hungry for more.

“It’s really my passion to help Khmer films improve and be at par with foreign films. So I try hard to make it better and better every year, and to bring it to international cinemas. Even if some of my films did not earn much when they were released, I still want to continue in this industry.”

With his hard work and determination, “The Torment of the Ghost” will be shown at the Hong Kong FILMART sometime in March and will be screened in Malaysia in April. It will also be distributed to Laos, Myanmar and Thailand in May. In September, it is slated to be shown in China.

Yaleng believes that Cambodia can do what other countries can in terms of arts and films.

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“Since I started, I get the income of my movies from the local moviegoers. But in the future, I am hopeful that my films will be screened in international cinemas, not only to get more income but to spread the culture, tradition and talent of Cambodians. I say that our film industry is gold. All producers and filmmakers want to show how great Cambodia is,” he noted.

To be able to attract a wider audience, Yaleng said he creates films that offer new stories and new plots. He also applies different techniques and styles in his directing in every project he takes.

“The Torment of the Ghost” is co-written by So Theavy, Svay Limeng and At Kunthy.

Yaleng’s other renowned film “The Witch” was shown in Brunei, France, American and China last year. Two years ago, his film “Vikalcharek” was also screened internationally.

Yaleng is slowly getting recognised for his passion in filmmaking and acting by other Asian film production houses.

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He hopes that more and more Cambodian films will soon get the attention they deserve from wider, more diverse audiences.

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