Sihanouk Film to Open Francophone Festival

A feature film produced in 1967 by King Norodom Sihanouk will be presented tonight at Wat Botum on the opening night of a film festival featuring productions from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, France and Burkina Faso.

“Shadow Over Angkor,” to be shown in Khmer with French subtitles, is the fictional story of a con­spi­racy fomented by outsiders, un­hap­py with then-Prince Siha­nouk’s neutral and anti-imperialist policy.

The festival, which is organized by the French Cultural Center to mark International Francophone Day on March 20, will present 27 feature and documentary films from Wednesday until March 21.

They will be shown either at the French Cultural Center or at Cinelux cinema on Norodom Boulevard.

The International Organization of the Francophonie, which consists of 56 states that share a French heritage, celebrates Franc­o­phone Day each year with a series of events throughout the world. This year, they will include a football game in Nigeria, a French-song karaoke contest in Indonesia and a national Braille-dictation competition in Togo.

In Cambodia, the French Cul­tural Center and the French Em­bassy, in cooperation with the Min­istry of Culture, decided to feature films from Southeast Asian countries that are part of the Francophonie, said Guy Issanjou, director of the center. Burkina Faso was invited because the African country will host the next Francophonie biennale, he said.

Contacted about the festival, King Sihanouk agreed to lend one of his films to inaugurate the event, said Issanjou. The festival has also scheduled “Sihanouk, the Filmmaker King,” a 60-minute documentary by French director Frederic Mitterrand on the King and his films.

A conference on the history of filmmaking in Cambodia will take place on Thursday, followed, on March 20, by a roundtable on the film industry in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam—covering issues ranging from censorship and copyright protection, to government support and distribution.


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