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Cambodia Aims To Expand Overseas Film Market

PHNOM PENH: The Ministry of Culture is working on improving the quality of Cambodian films so that they can expand the market to international releases.

On December 14, a workshop was held to promote local filmmaking organized by the Ministry of Culture’s Department of Film and Cultural Promotion to work on ideas for expanding Cambodian films’ overseas market. Department Director Pok Borak said that film production in the Kingdom is bouncing back from the setbacks cause by Covid-19. He said it is time for Cambodia to strengthen the quality of its films so that they can compete internationally.

"For more than three decades, we have seen an increase in production, a collapse and a recurrence, and a repeated collapse, so our cycle is an experience that makes us consider further quality enhancements to make more sustainable for our film industry,” he said.

President of the Cambodian Film Association, Chhay Bora, said that there are some problems that make Cambodian films unable to reach foreign markets such as lack of communication with foreign producers and lack of investment from public and private to film production.

"We will raise it in the workshop and on behalf of the association, we will make an official letter to the Royal Government on the important points that we need to let the Royal Government know what areas we need help in," he said.

Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture, Som Sokun, wants to encourage more stakeholders to participate in the Cambodian film industry by supporting and encouraging more producers, making it easier to get a license to film in public places, and providing more tax breaks. He hopes that these measures will improve the quality of local filmmakers so they can pave the way for Cambodian films to compete in foreign markets.

As an incentive, the Cambodian government has extended some tax breaks to local filmmakers until 2028.

According to a report from the Ministry of Culture, about 20 to 30 Cambodian films are being screened in theaters each year since the dip caused by Covid-19. There are now 25 cinemas operating nationwide with 114 screening rooms that can hold an estimated 3 million moviegoers per year.



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