Director Rithy Panh's latest film, "The Burnt Theatre", will be shown out
of competition at the prestigious 2005 Cannes Film Festival in France.
The work centers around struggling artists in Cambodia, who face an entertainment
sector rife with ghost movies, karaoke and television. Those practicing more traditional
crafts are confined either to lives of poverty, or to performing "ethnic entertainments"
Panh described the film as "food for thought," adding that "its purpose
is to induce people, wherever they may be, to think about the artist's role, the
function of imagination and the usefulness of art, when confronted by loss of memory
and the ruthless short-term scheme of economic profitability," according to
the Cannes Web site.
Panh also showed films at Cannes in 1994, 1998 and 2003.