WHETHER you are a cinephile or not, there is no way of denying that films play a big role in providing unique social experience. Aside from pure enjoyment, films can serve a higher purpose in transmitting and shaping a culture.
Now, Cambodians have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Nippon culture by catching the Japanese Film Festival 2019, happening from Nov 20-24 in Phnom Penh and Dec 6-10 in Siem Reap.
The festival, the fifth of its kind, is co-organised by the Japan Foundation, in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, and the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Centre (CJCC).
Throughout the four-day period, movie buffs will be able to catch a selection of 10 films of various genres including drama, mystery, musical, animation, history and comedy, which explore the themes revolving around the Japanese life, society and culture.
At the opening ceremony on Tuesday, Director of the Japan Foundation Asia Centre Mr Kusakabe Yosuke expressed his utmost respect to the Cambodian government for actively nurturing the ‘film culture’ in the Kingdom.
“Cambodians and Japanese are similar in the way that we share respect and a love for films. This is our common ground. We have received constructive feedback since we first began in 2015, so we hope this festival will enhance the momentum of the local and global film industry,” he said.
Echoing the same sentiment, Ambassador of Japan H.E. Mr Mikami Masahiro said he aspires for Cambodians to have a better understanding of the lives of Japanese people after watching this latest festival’s selection. “I sincerely wish everyone will have a good time watching some of our latest films,” he quipped.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State who represented the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, H.E. Mr Som Sokun expressed his gratitude towards the Japanese government for the opportunity to host the festival.
“We truly cherish the 69 years of bilateral ties between our countries. Today, Japan is one of Cambodia’s biggest trade and commercial partners. This Festival will undoubtedly help us foster a good relationship.
“As we know, films are a tool to promote arts and culture but it can also be educational. The Ministry is looking forward to more events that are similar to this Festival,” he said.
The opening ceremony, which took place at Aeon Mall 1, began with a moment of silence for the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi who passed away on Monday (Nov 18) and ended with a special screening of ‘My Dad Is A Heel Wrestler’, exclusively for guests and dignitaries present.
The two-hour movie was based on the picture books ’’Papa no Shigoto wa Warumono Desu” and “Papa wa Warumono Chanpion ” by writer Masahiro Itabashi and illustrator Hisanori Yoshida. It is a heartwarming story that brilliantly captured the complexity of familial ties.
The other nine selected films are: Samurai Shifters, Dance With Me, Little Love Song, A Banana? At This Time of Night?, Masquerade Hotel, Bento Harassment, The Fable, 12 Suicidal Teens and Children of the Sea.
They will be screened at Major Cineplex of Aeon Mall I and II and the Legend Cinema of TK Avenue in Phnom Penh while in Siem Reap, the selected movies will be played at the Major Cineplex.
Admission is free, just grab your tickets from the JFF booth at your cinema of choice. Tickets, however, are limited so one person is only allocated one ticket per screening. For more information, log on to http://kh.japanesefilmfest.org.
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