Cambodia hosts int'l film heritage festival
PHNOM PENH, June 1 (Xinhua) -- The 1st international film heritage festival kicked off here on Saturday night, aiming at encouraging interest in preserving classic films, an organizer said.
About 40 classic films from around the world will be viewed on 35- mm screening equipment at Chaktomuk Theater and the Bophana Center for 9 days with free access for all, said Rithy Panh, president and founder of the Bophana Center at the opening ceremony.
He said among those classics are two films produced by late King Father Norodom Sihanouk. They are Apsara made in 1965 and the Joy of Living in 1969.
Besides, there are classics from various countries such as India, Japan, Argentina, France, Spain, the United States, Germany, Russia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.
"Films are endangered everywhere in the world if they are not well preserved," he said. "Over 90 percent of films around the world made before 1929 are lost forever".
He said as films are part of the memory of a nation and humanity, they need to be taken care of--that means collecting them, searching for them when they are considering to be lost and preserving them in safe locations.
King Norodom Sihamoni was among 700 local and foreign spectators who watched classics on Saturday, the first day of the festival at the capital's Chaktomuk Theater.
The international film heritage festival focused on cinema and all films produced in Cambodia or elsewhere before the early 1980s.
In a message to congratulate the occasion, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the festival represented an encouraging historical come back for Cambodia.
"We are delighted that Cambodia finds itself at the heart of international and cultural dialogue," he said. "We wish for these exchanges to become lasting contributions which will work towards Cambodia's influence throughout the world".
Tourism minister Thong Khon said the ministry of tourism strongly supported this festival, which was a vehicle for Cambodia to be known worldwide.
"It is a bridge between past and present, between Cambodia and the world," he said in a message.
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