PHNOM PENH: The 12th Cambodia International Film Festival kicked off last night with an opening ceremony attended by distinguished guests and film fans alike. The event, held at Legend Cinema in Olympia Mall, was full of excitement and wonder at the week to come.
Guests were treated to a sneak peek of the festival’s offerings, which include short and feature films by Cambodian artists, international features, cartoons and documentaries from around the world. The program features themes such as “Cartoons of the World” for families, “Beautiful Planet”, which highlights Cambodia’s rich biodiversity and indigenous cultures and “Fright Night”, during which a string of horror films from around the world will be played at Legend Eden on Friday night from 6pm to 4am.
Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona gave a speech and received flowers alongside Dy Saveth, an iconic Cambodian film star of the 1960’s and 70’s. Dy Saveth worked with honored director Houy Keng, who made a surprise appearance at the event. The formerly married couple worked together to establish Sovan Kiri film studio, which remains the only Cambodian studio to release more than 20 titles. CIFF is paying tribute to the director and the actress by screening four of their classic hits this week including “The Snake Girl” and “The Crocodile Men.”
Cambodian short film “Yike Kouy Yerng” was screened at the opening, which followed the story of provincial farmers in Kampong Thom, desperate to keep the art of Kui Yike dancing alive by teaching youth in the area. The film provides a valuable glimpse into the subjects’ daily lives catching fish, harvesting cashews and collecting clay from the fields to make masks for the indigenous dance. It is one of many films playing this week which will highlight the rich diversity of experiences in Cambodia. The Cambodia International Film Festival runs from May 31 to June 4 and offers over 160 free screenings and events to the public.
PHOTO: CINE HUB - ស៊ីណេហាប់