CAMBODIA is becoming a desired Hollywood location with three major film makers looking
to include the kingdom in their projects.
Stephen Spielberg's Dream-works production company is the latest to visit and scout
Nine Dreamworks employees visited Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, leaving last week on
the company's corporate jet.
One of them said they had been visiting Angkor with a view to setting part of their
next animated feature there.
He said the movie was titled Tusker and was a story about elephants.
He said it would star the voices of Morgan Freeman and Jody Foster. They plan to
return and start filming later this year, with a release date some time in 2002.
Meanwhile there are two other Hollywood productions planned for Cambodia.
Oliver Stone is scheduled to begin shooting a feature in the country during the next
few months and actor Matt Dillon is understood to be still interested in filming
a movie here following several planning visits.
Locally based journalist Hurley Scroggins has worked with a number of film crews
in Cambodia and believes that the sudden interest is due to the discovery that the
country has good scenery and the local authorities have a relaxed attitude.
"Cambodia has idyllic unspoiled locations and the Government is very cooperative
with film makers, probably due to the King's enthusiasm and history with the cinema,"
"There are also very few complications in filming in Cambodia compared with
other countries in the region.
"There are no problems in bringing in specialist staff from overseas. The Government
does not want to vet the scripts."
He said he believed this to be an excellent opportunity for Cambodia to be portrayed
in a positive light as well as providing employment at a local level.
"These companies spend a lot of money and it trickles down - it is the ultimate