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Cambodia International Film Festival Returns with 90 films from 17 Countries – All for Free

By: totallyrandomman Posted: December-16-2011 in

The second Cambodia International Film Festival will take place from the 14th to the 18th of December, with a plethora of short, feature length and documentary films from Asia, Africa and Europe and North America, as well as a range of workshops and events.

The event, organized by the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre ( will this year include screenings at Legend Cinema and Cineplex, as well as the French Cultural Centre, the Bophana Centre and outdoor screenings on Diamond Island (Koh Pich).

A highlight of the festival will be Davy Chou’s Golden Slumbers, a collage of more than 400 films produced between 1960 and 1975 and about 30 films left after the end of the Khmer Rouge regime. It gives a startling insight into the culture and society of the period and awakens the once magnificent Cambodian film history from its deep sleep.

Another highlight is Rithy Panh’s new feature film Shiiku: The Catch, set in 1972, it explores a group of Cambodian childrens’ treatment of a Black American Pilot who they hold prisoner.
Both Davy Chou and Rithy Panh will be attending the festival in person.

This years CIFF will focus on veteran filmmaker Yvon Hem, one of the few filmmakers of the golden age of Khmer cinema who has survived the Khmer Rouge regime and who is still in love with its art nowadays: There will be numerous showings of both his vintage and more recent productions, including his 1968 film Abul Kasem, set in ancient Baghdad, in which a mysterious warrior with a black mark on his hand battles against a coup organised by a pair of unscrupulous ministers, in order to win the hand of the king’s only daughter.

Events and workshops will include an exhibition of stills from recent Cambodian film sets, Shooting in Cambodia, at the I-QLICK (CANON) STORE (142-146 Sihanouk Blvd), a workshop on storytelling with pictures by Japanese Filmmaker Takeyoshi Fukuda at the Bophana Centre and a presentation of classic movie clips which feature Khmer music, at the French Cultural Centre.

For those who want to schmooze with the filmmakers, there will be official after screening drinks at Rahu (159 Sisowath Quay) every evening of the festival from 9pm.
The decision to make all screenings free is intended to draw a new audience to the genre.

As Project Manager Stanislas Touzet comments ‘The free entry will attract a public who never goes to cinema, it is an occasion for this new public to see that watching a film in a theatre is a very different experience than on a TV.’

The closing film of the festival will be Anne Bass’s Dancing Across Borders, which chronicles a young Cambodian with a passion for dance who travels from the serene countryside of Siem Reap Province to the halls of New York’s School of American Balletto and eventually finds himself on the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. The closing film will be shown at the French Cultural Centre on December 18th at 3 PM.

Rithy Panh’s ‘Shiiku; The Catch’ will be screened at Legend Cinema at 7pm, Thursday 15th December and at the French Cultural Centre at 2pm, Saturday 17th December. Davy Chou’s ‘Golden Slumbers’ will be screened at Legend Cinema at 7pm, Saturday 17th December and at the French Cultural Centre at 10:15am on Sunday 18th December. For a full list of screenings and events at the festival see

This article was published in Issue #3 of The Advisor
3000 copies printed weekly and distributed in hard copy around town to local venues and also available here for downloads in the archives.


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