Cambodia’s rich history, culture and arts have given us a myriad of stories to tell. The booming local film industry is a proof to that. The annual Cambodia International Film Festival aims to boost the industry more by showcasing films from master and amateur filmmakers who have great talents to share, Say Tola writes.
It is time for movie lovers and film enthusiasts to witness another great selection of films that will stir your emotions and awaken your senses. With the collaboration of Bophana Center and Cambodia Film Commission, and the support of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) kicked of its ninth edition in Phnom Penh on March 9. This year, CIFF is presenting over 130 films from 37 countries all over the globe, including short and feature films, documentaries and animated flicks.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime, CIFF brings this year’s festival into a deeper, more emotional turn with its theme, “Facing Genocides: 40 years of the Khmer Rouge regime fall”. The film festival will be running through March 14.
Executive director of Bophana Centre, Chea Soheap, announced during the 9th CIFF press conference at Rosewood Hotel last week that, “Through its theme ‘Facing Genocide’, CIFF will be showing and discussing the memories of the Khmer Rouge regime that have been transmitted from generation to generation. We have nine series of features films (both old and current films) and documentaries to showcase such. It also includes special exhibition and a panel discussion at the Bophana Centre.”
“I hope this festival will be a very special event for Cambodian film lovers who want to watch films from different parts of the world. And it can be a platform for their artistic expression as well,” Mr Sopheap said.
Cambodian Film Commission (CFC) foreign advisor, Cédric Eloy, said that CIFF will be screening 26 Cambodian films in the festival. He added, “We would be premiering a new film by director Sok Visal and Caylee So ‘In The Life of Music’ in the opening ceremony and ‘The Prey’ by Jimmy Henderson as the closing film. Additionally, we also have films by Rithy Panh, ‘Graves Without a Name’ and the first Cambodian animated movie about the history of Cambodia, ‘Funan’”.
“Besides feature films, CIFF also introduces young Cambodian filmmakers through showing their films on the big screen under the programme, ‘Cambodia in Shorts’. Therefore, I invite you to see 15 short films that are shot by Cambodians, in Cambodia, with Cambodian crew.”
But beyond being a Cambodia-focused film festival, Mr Cedric added that there is a wide range of exceptional films this year including the best films from Asia, Europe and America.
“There is a great selection this year through the international programme. The 9th CIFF has ‘Beautiful Planet’ programme to help people understand better about the global warming through documentaries, and diverse animation in the ‘cartoons of the world’ which is a programme designed for family and kids to enjoy.”
From March 9-14, CIFF offers 150 screenings in all major cinemas in Phnom Penh, including Legend Cinema, Major Cineplex, Prime Cineplex, Bopha Centre, Chaktomuk Theatre and Rosewood.
Tickets are available one hour before each screening at CIFF counters. For more details about the film screenings, follow the Facebook page of Cambodia International Film Festival.
The annual Cambodia International Film Festival is held to help promote the Kingdom’s film industry and the superbly talented and dedicated people behind it.