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Culture ministry’s approval required for all film-making

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Culture minister Phoeurng Sackona speaks during the ministry’s annual meeting on February 9. CULTURE MINISTRY

Culture ministry’s approval required for all film-making

The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has informed local and foreign film companies – as well as independent producers, service providers and NGOs – to apply directly to its Cinema and Cultural Diffusion Department for permission to shoot any feature films, documentaries, music videos, or TV commercials.

In a March 7 press release, the culture ministry said the orders are in line with a sub-decree dated November 8, 2016, on “Management of the Film Industry.” The notice included details of the documents which should accompany the application form, detailed and summarised storylines, and a schedule of shooting times and locations.

“These documents will facilitate the ease of processing requests, and avoid producers wasting time applying through other channels,” it said.

The ministry requested the cooperation of all relevant ministries and institutions, asking them to advise any producers, film companies or NGOs wishing to shoot in Cambodia to contact the its department in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district directly or via its website cambodiafilm.info.

Culture ministry spokesman Hab Touch said on March 8 that the ministry had issued the announcement to clarify where film producers need to apply. There were several production companies that had said they were unaware of the correct process.

“In the past, some producers, organisations and film companies had not known about this procedure, and had asked for permission to shoot at other institutions instead of the culture ministry. This led to a prolonged process in obtaining shooting permits,” he said.

If production companies failed to obtain permission, police or local authorities have the rights to shut down the set or any other activities attached to the project, he warned.

“Once the ministry has granted permission, it will issue a letter that facilitates the production, Should police or local authorities enquire, the producers can simply show them the letter,” Touch said.

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