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Cambodia’s ocean film festival highlights marine conservation

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The Siem Reap Ocean in Motion Film Festival showcases a series of short and medium length films celebrating the ocean and championing wildlife conservation. Photo supplied

Cambodia’s ocean film festival highlights marine conservation

Phnom penh hosted Cambodia’s first ocean themed film festival this week, with Siem Reap the next destination for the travelling film showcase.

The 2018 Siem Reap Ocean in Motion Film Festival, which opened on December 4 and 5 with screenings at Meta House in Phnom Penh, will now travel to Siem Reap to showcase a series of short and medium length films celebrating the ocean and championing wildlife conservation.

“The purpose of the event is to bring inspiration and further awareness about ocean protection through beautiful short films which are exciting, intriguing, entertaining, emotional and educational – giving something for everyone to get excited about in one way or another.

“A lot of people might not be able to get to the ocean, so this is a way for us to bring the ocean to them, and they don’t even have to get wet,” said Douglas Woodring, founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance, the organisation behind the event.

Ocean Recovery Alliance is a non-profit organisation based in Hong Kong and California concerned with raising awareness and creating solutions for improving the health of our oceans.

The Ocean in Motion Film Festival was first held in Hong Kong in 2012, but this is the first time it will be hosted in Cambodia. It will then head to Thailand for screenings in Phuket and Bangkok between December 12-15.

“We have been running this for 5 years in Hong Kong and a few other countries, but this year is our first year in Cambodia, and next week in Thailand. We select a series of short films on all types of topics so that viewers get to experience all kinds of ocean activities, from sports, animals, adventure, discovery, science and conservation,” Woodring said.

The 90-minute programme features 12 features and documentaries addressing the festival’s central theme; among them is Scarlet’s Tale, the powerful story of one man’s bond with the great white shark who took his leg. Also featured is The Penguin Protectors, a film following a group of dedicated South African conservationists trying to save the African penguin from extinction.

Another festival highlight can be found in The Making of Skyscraper, the story of how artists repurposed five tonnes of plastic removed from the Pacific Ocean into a striking whale sculpture erected in the heart of Bruges, Belgium, in order to highlight the problem of sea pollution.

The Ocean in Motion Film Festival will be held at the Bambu Stage and The Village Cafe in Siem Reap between December 7-8, with film discussions, Q&As and an after-party all scheduled.

For more information, please contact Douglas Woodring on 096-746-5922.

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