PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – The film “Blood in Dispute” premiered at Legend Cinema in Toul Kork on Saturday. This is the first joint production between Cambodia Television Network (CTN) and the Philippines’ Global Media Arts (GMA) Network.
Stars from both countries arrived in style for the red-carpet premiere. Filipino mega-stars Mikael Daez and Andreas Torres drew a crowd of local Khmer fans. The charming duo became famous in Cambodia from the TV miniseries “With a Smile” and “Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga” shown on CTN last year.
After making her mark as Miss Tourism International Cambodia, Meas Thorn Sreynai plays the romantic lead alongside rising action star Khat Vaihang and veteran actor Tep Rindaro.
Hard Work Pays Off
Mr. Daez plays a Muay Thai boxer who is of mixed Filipino and Khmer heritage. He embarks on a study expedition to Cambodia to learn about Bokator, the Cambodian martial art. His enchanting girlfriend, played by Ms. Torres, follows him and finds the pretty Ms. Thorn by his side.
Mr. Daez was excited to see his hard work on screen. He spent a lot of time learning and practicing “Bokator” before and during the film shoot.
“Blood in Dispute” is directed by Ken Simpson, who co-wrote the script with fellow Canadian Romilly Belcourt. The action/romantic drama storyline was an idea provided by the networks, but born from the duo’s experiences in film and inspired by the people they met in Cambodia.
“Both networks gave us a huge amount for freedom,” Mr. Simpson said. “So we expanded on the original story.” When he arrived in Cambodia, he incorporated his observations from a month spent navigating through the language barrier and observing the locals. Five months later, the blonde director stood on the steps of the theater and watched as a crowd of young fans clamored to take selfies with the stars.
“It took us three long years to get here,” Cambodian Broadcasting Service (CBS) General Manager Bernard Anthony announced at the movie premiere. “I’m proud to be with the greatest team of people to have come together to make this dream a reality.”
Mr. Anthony continued to discuss the production process, which he said was an enduring effort. It was difficult to bring the production together with teams and stars from two different countries. He said he took pride in releasing a drama of cinematic quality and hopes it will continue with similar projects.
“Blood in Dispute” will be in all major theaters in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap for two weeks before it is shown during a special TV release to the public.