European Diversity to Be Celebrated at EU Festival

Films illustrating the diversity and richness of Europe will be on show throughout May as the 12th European Union Film Festival begins today in Phnom Penh.

The first of 12 films to be shown will be the Dutch picture “Cool Kids Don’t Cry” at Institut Francais Cambodge this evening at 6 p.m.

“What I think is important from this film festival is to show the diversity of the movie production across Europe,” said European Union Ambassador Jean-Francois Cautin.

“Diversity because the films are from different countries with different sensibilities and this year we are very excited as we have new countries.”

Austria, Belgium, Italy and the Czech Republic will be offering up native films for the first time, including the Czech film “Kooky”—one of two animated movies ap­pearing over the month.

Other pictures include a documentary on Portuguese music called “Fados,” the 1963 Italian classic “Il Gattopardo” and “The Last Sentence,” a Swedish film about a newspaper editor-in-chief who challenges the leaders of the Third Reich.

The festival hopes to bring in its largest audience yet after seeing attendance rise in recent years. Numbers doubled from 3,000 to 6,000 between 2011 and 2012 and organizers estimate that around two thirds of the attendees have been Cambodian.

“We hope Cambodians will discover how people in Europe see life, the way they handle their problems and their own interpretations of the world,” said Mr. Cautin.

Films will be screened at Institut Francais Cambodge from May 5 to 16 in their native language with English subtitles, while Phnom Penh’s Cineplex and Baray Andet Theater in Siem Reap will be showing the films dubbed in Khmer from May 22 to June 1.

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