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At Hong Kong Film Fest, Hope for a Booming Cambodian Film Industry Lingers


TV actress Nancy Wu poses for a photo with a fan at FILMART in Hong Kong, March 14, 2017. (Nov Povleakhena/VOA Khmer)

The Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, known as FILMART, is the largest event for film and television sales in Asia.

In the vibrant and diverse city of Hong Kong, Cambodian filmmakers came together for a recent exposition in the home of Asia’s biggest movie market with a shared mission - to represent Cambodian movies on the international stage.

The Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, known as FILMART, is the largest event for film and television sales in Asia. Producers place high hopes on touting their productions to international distributors, with 600 films from some 40m countries on show this year.

Kongchak Pictures, the producers of blockbuster “Jailbreak”, was one of those seeking to drum up interest.

“It’s giving opportunity for film makers to recoup on their investment and earn more,” said Te Loy, a producer with Kongchak Pictures.

Cambodia has a small movie market, with producers competing with Hollywood and other local offerings for attention.

Loy said Kongchak Pictures made a deal with a Korean distributor at FILMART to screen the movie in South Korea.

Another Cambodian film, “Love 2 the Power of 4”, was also screened at the event.

A Cambodian Film Commission team meet at The Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, Hong Kong, March 14, 2017. (Nov Povleakhena/VOA Khmer)
A Cambodian Film Commission team meet at The Hong Kong International Film and TV Market, Hong Kong, March 14, 2017. (Nov Povleakhena/VOA Khmer)

The theme of international collaborations permeated the expo this year, an arrangement that can lead to larger budgets and better quality films, said Cheap Sovichea, director of the Cambodian Film Commission.

“When local production has international quality, that will encourage more opportunities for co-productions between international and local producers,” he said.

Formal agreements between states to promote the film industry can also be beneficial, he added.

Loy said that compared to last year there was a greater diversity of genres on shows, including horror and action movies, and films dealing with LGBT issues.

Sum Sithen, general manager of Puprum Entertainment, a distributor, said this exhibition gave Cambodia the opportunity to expose in the international market.

Visitors walk past one of the entrances to FILMART, Hong Kong, March 16, 2017. (Nov Povleakhena/VOA Khmer)
Visitors walk past one of the entrances to FILMART, Hong Kong, March 16, 2017. (Nov Povleakhena/VOA Khmer)

Though, Sithen said the size of Cambodian team at event was on a smaller scale to its rivals, which were more competitive and skilful in the industry.

He suggested that at next year’s event the Cambodian delegation have a larger participation from more companies, and private booth where discussions could take place with prospective distributors to attract more interest.

Overall, the attendees seemed positive about the progress. They only joined FILMART for the first time last year, though CFC has been here for four years.

“The Cambodian film industry is really booming, and we are on the edge of that,” Loy said. “We are ready to raise the standard and enter the international market.”

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