THE Ministry of Information has sent a letter encouraging all television and radio stations to air more locally produced advertisements, rather than those made in foreign countries featuring Western actors.
In the letter, sent Tuesday, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith framed the request as part of a bid to create jobs and exposure for the local media industry.
Speaking to the Post on Wednesday, he lamented what he described as a waste of local talent, which he said was made apparent by the lack of Cambodian faces on local television stations.
“We should help create jobs for our actors, actresses, directors, writers and film producers, so that they have their own livelihood, rather than showing foreign spots and paying tax for using their products, which creates losses for us,” he said.
I am sure that cambodian actors ... can act as well as foreign ones .
He added that he was appealing to what he termed “employment conscientiousness”. He also said he would not institute any system of fines for television and radio stations that did not comply with the request.
The letter follows a similar appeal made by the ministry in November.
Local artists responded enthusiastically to the letter on Wednesday, with some saying they believed local talent could compete with anything other countries had to offer.
Famed filmmaker Paon Phuong Bopha said the move to promote locally produced advertisements could amount to “an important motivation for all local actors, actresses, writers, directors and film producers to further their careers and improve their livelihood”.
Actress Yuthura Chhany echoed Khieu Kanharith’s assertion that there was no shortage of local talent, but emphasised that actors need to be paid well to produce television spots that meet international standards.
“I am sure that Cambodian actors and actresses can act as well as foreign ones,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tith Thavrith, executive director of Bayon TV, questioned the extent to which networks would support the local media industry.
“It depends on the will and intention of company owners,” he said. “What is important is what they want.”