European Union Film Festival begins with eye on travel

European Union Film Festival begins with eye on travel

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The insatiable wanderlust which brings many Europeans to Cambodia to see the beach, mountains and Angkor Wat, and which takes them on adventures around the world, will be featured centre stage at this year’s European Union Film Festival.

Organised around the theme “travelling”, the three week-long EUFF kicks off this evening with a 7pm invitation-only screening of the Danish film A Sunday in Hell.

“The film festival will show the different angles of travelling,” said Jean-Francois Cautain, the Ambassador of the European Union to Cambodia. “Our purpose is to let audiences see the diversity of films produced in Europe.”

This year’s festival coincides with both the May 9 commemoration of Europe Day, and the 20th anniversary of cooperation between the EU and Cambodia, which officially established diplomatic relations in 1992.

The theme of “travelling” is interpreted broadly, with selections that include Welcome, a French tale about a young Kurdish boy who sets off on a journey from Iraq through Europe; Assault on the Santa Maria, a film about a Portuguese emigrant in 1960s Venezuela; and Singing Behind Screens, about a young Italian who finds himself in a 1930s Chinese brothel.

Now in its 10th year, the EU Film Festival will feature 12 movies from 11 European countries, up from the seven films screened last year.

Featured films are from Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Two films are from France.

“There are 27 member countries in the EU, so we expect in the future we will have all 27 films from EU screened in Cambodia,” Jean-François Cautain said.

Olivier Planchon, the director of the Institut Français du Cambodge, one of the Festival’s long-time partners, said the event has continued to expand.

“Previously, we had only one week to screen six films, and it was in the original language with English subtitles. There was only one screening at the French Institute. But this year we are doing almost one month,” Planchon said.

While screenings at the Institut Français at the Royal University of Phnom Penh will be in the original language with English subtitles, screenings at the Cineplex Cinema in Phnom Penh and at Baray Andet Cinema in Siem Reap will be dubbed in Khmer. All shows are free.
The European Union Film Festival will screen at the following venues:

  • Monday, May 7 to Saturday, May 12: Institut Français, #218, St 184, Phnom Penh
  • Friday, May 18 to Monday, May 28: Cineplex Cinema, Sorya Shopping Center, 5th floor, St 63, Phnom Penh
  • Wednesday, May 23 to Saturday, May 26. Royal University of Phnom Penh, Russian Blvd.
  • Friday, May 21 to Monday, May 31. Baray Andet Cinema, Siem Reap Cultural Center, Charles de Gaulle St, Siem Reap

Full details of film screenings are available here.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roth Meas at [email protected]

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