Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Australia, CIFF team up to screen 20 films for diplomatic anniversary

Australia, CIFF team up to screen 20 films for diplomatic anniversary

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Australian ambassador Pablo Kang (second left) during a press conference on the 11th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) on June 15. SUPPLIED

Australia, CIFF team up to screen 20 films for diplomatic anniversary

The Australian embassy in Phnom Penh is giving away 70 tickets to the upcoming Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) to commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the Kingdom.

The CIFF will take place from June 28–July 3, with over 140 films being screened around Phnom Penh, according to the embassy.

“To celebrate our seven decades of diplomatic relations, we will be screening 20 Australian films made throughout this period from 1952-2022”, it said earlier this week.

The embassy also said the Gala opening for their film series will be on June 28 at 5:30pm at Chaktomuk Conference Hall in Phnom Penh.

In attendance will be Cambodian-Australian filmmaker Allison Chhorn, Australian filmmaker James Gerrand as well as film critic and curator for this year’s film festival Richard Kuipers.

Chea Sopheap, director of the Bophana Centre, said that as part of the celebrations surrounding the 70th Anniversary of Cambodian-Australian diplomatic relations, the embassy has supported CIFF’s return this year by creating a unique programme of films that combines Australian and Cambodian cultural heritage and ties to the film industry.

“The panorama of Australian cinema features Cambodian-Australian co-productions such as Buoyancy and also many classic and cult Aussie films produced over the last 70 years, making it one of the largest film retrospectives ever done in Southeast Asia,” he said.

One of the films being shown with a direct connection to both Australia and Cambodia is Buoyancy. It is a passionate testimony against social injustice and a moving coming-of-age tale about a Cambodian boy sold into forced labour on a Thai fishing boat.

Buoyancy was produced by Australian director Rodd Rathjen and is based on the conditions he witnessed first-hand in Thailand’s infamous fishing industry.

According to Sopheap, multidisciplinary artist Chhorn will also take part in a panel discussion on women in cinema, alongside other female filmmakers from Southeast Asia.

“This collection of films will allow Cambodian audiences to discover and understand many different facets of Australian culture, its people and its landscapes. CIFF’s audience is very lucky to have such a programme this year on the silver screen,” Sopheap said.

“Australia is very proud to be supporting the Cambodian International Film Festival as part of the celebrations for our 70th anniversary of bilateral relations. Film helps us find shared connections. It helps us celebrate our cultures, as we learn from our history to build a better future,” said Australia’s Charge d’Affaires Andreas Zurbrugg.

“Our support for this year’s film festival provides a chance for all Australians and Cambodians to reflect on both our countries’ journeys over the last 70 years, and what we can do in the next 70 years and beyond.”

He said he was looking forward to welcoming Australian Film personalities, especially artist and filmmaker Allison Chhorn, who is an Australian of Cambodian heritage.

“We have a strong Cambodian diaspora in Australia (66 000 people). This is a great opportunity to recognise Allison’s contribution and those of other Australian-Cambodians to modern multi-cultural Australia.” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the