Khmer Version of ‘The Missing Picture’ Debuts

A new Khmer-language version of the award-winning film “The Missing Picture” premiered Tuesday at the Cambodia International Film Festival.

The original, French-language version of “The Missing Picture” premiered in May at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard category, which recognizes films that are unique both visually and in their message. The film has also been chosen as Cambodia’s nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the next Academy Awards in March 2014.

“The Missing Picture” documents Khmer Rouge-era atrocities and Mr. Panh’s own family’s experiences under the regime using historical footage in combination with hand-sculpted characters made by the Cambodian artist Sarith Mang.

The new Khmer version of the film, jointly financed by the Cambodian Film Commission and Mr. Panh, features a translation of the original French first-person narration spoken by Cambodian actor Tuong Dara.

“We told him to narrate the story as if it was his family he was talking about,” said Kim Sophea, Cambodian International Film Festival coordinator. “He wasn’t sure to do it at the beginning, as he hadn’t dubbed anything before this.”

Cedric Eloy, CEO of the Cambodian Film Commission, said the translation of the film’s narration is important, but that Ms. Mang’s detailed and colorful sculptures are also a key part of Mr. Panh’s work.

Mr. Panh’s next project will be a co-production of Francois Bizot’s memoir of his time in a Khmer Rouge prison camp, “The Gate,” which is expected to begin filming in the next few months.

“The Missing Picture’s” Khmer-language version, with English subtitles, will be screened twice more this week during the Cambodia International Film Festival.

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