For the first time ever, Cambodian filmmakers this year will have an opportunity to compete for the most prestigious award in cinema —the Oscar.
The Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee (COSC), formed in October by the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announced yesterday the local selection process for next year’s 85th annual Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. Without a local committee, filmmakers cannot submit their movies to be considered for the Best Foreign Language Film award.
“Filmmaking [in Cambodia] is lacking in a few areas…but this will inspire people to make movies,” said Mariam Arthur, COSC’s chairman.
During a news conference at SabayCineplex in Sorya Shopping Center, Ms. Arthur outlined the selection process.
She said submissions to the committee are judged in seven categories: acting, cinematography, direction, music, sound, story and universal theme. But the committee can only submit one film from the country to the Oscars—and it may have already made up its mind.
At the announcement, filmmaker Chhay Bora, 49, submitted his 2011 movie “Lost Loves” for consideration.
“We are unaware of any other movies that could be submitted on time this year that meet the qualifications except for ‘Lost Loves,’” said Ms. Arthur. “The committee has publically acknowledged they like the film.”
The deadline for submissions to COSC is July 15, and the committee will send its final selection to the Academy in early September.
But Ms. Arthur said that even if the committee has only one submission, the members could ultimately reject it and send no films for consideration.
COSC is composed of seven voting members who are Cambodian film actors, directors and editors. Ms. Arthur, a US national, cannot vote.
Among a slew of requirements by the Academy, the movies must be largely Cambodian-directed and produced, and have a theatrical release in the country for at least seven days, with no showings on television or the Internet. Technical requirements also limit viewings to SabayCineplex or Legend Cinema, said Ms. Arthur.
“Lost Loves” has been playing at SabayCineplex since January.