Conference To Put Film Industry in Spotlight

Is Cambodia ready for the movie business? And would it affect the country—culturally, socially and economically?

These are some of the issues that will be debated Jan 17 at an all-day conference organized by Pan­nasastra University at the university’s West Campus on Street 214.

As a preview to the conference, the university will hold a festival of Cambodian films, many of them with English subtitles, at Chakto­muk Theater on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10 am both days and running all day.

“Khmer After Angkor,” directed by one of Cambodia’s most famous filmmakers since the 1960s, Ly Bun Yim, will be shown Jan 16 at 7 pm.

Most directors, including Ly Bun Yim, are expected to attend the screenings of their films, said Raymond Leos, dean of the university’s Faculty of Commun­i­cation & Media Arts.

Rithy Panh, whose “Land of Wandering Souls” is scheduled to be shown at 7:30 pm on Saturday, has been invited to attend the screening. Both the film festival and the conference are open to the public and admission is free.

The conference, held in cooperation with the Ministry of Cul­ture and Fine Arts and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cul­tural Organization, will look into how Cambodia’s film industry can develop and thrive, Leos said.

It will start with a panel discussion on the role of cinema in the 1960s and today, and on whether it plays a role in preserving Cambodian identity and culture. The second session will tackle the technical expertise and training required for scriptwriters, actors and technical staff.

The third session will focus on the business of filmmaking—financing, marketing, distribution and copyright protection. And the final session will be on foreign film production, looking into the structure and facilities it takes to attract international productions.


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