The Last Reel, directed by Sotho Kulikar, has been officially chosen by the Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee (COSC) to represent Cambodia for the Foreign Language Film Award of the 88th Oscars ceremony.
The Last Reel has already won several awards at major international film festivals, including the ‘Spirit of Asia’ Award by the Japan Foundation Asia Center at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2014 in Japan and the ‘Black Dragon’ Award at the Far East Film Festival 2015 in Udine, Italy.
“I am so grateful to the Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee for choosing The Last Reel to represent Cambodia for the Foreign Language Film Award at the 2016 Oscars,” said Sotho. “This film was made by Cambodians with a Cambodian audience in mind, but the themes are universal and it has been embraced around the world, as well as here at home,” she continued. “I am extremely proud to represent Cambodia, the Cambodian people and the Cambodian film industry at the 88th Oscars,” she added, “I love my country and an award for The Last Reel is an award for Cambodia.”
The Last Reel is about a lost film buried beneath the Killing Fields which reveals different versions of the truth. In an abandoned cinema, rebellious teenager Sophoun discovers an old film starring her mother, offering her the chance to dictate her own destiny at last, but at the cost of uncovering some dark secrets from the past about her parents lives during the Khmer Rouge regime.
The Last Reel is one of the first feature films to be directed by a Cambodian woman, debutante Director Sotho Kulikar, and was shot entirely on location in Cambodia during 2013 with a cast of leading local talent, including Ma Rynet, Dy Saveth, Sok Sothun, Hun Sophy and Ros Mony. It is a Hanuman Films production.
Each year the Oscars are hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Hollywood. Each country may submit one film and only the sanctioned organization may choose the film. “It is an honor for our committee members to take part in this prestigious event,” said Ms. Mariam Arthur, chairperson of COSC. “Their expertise in the Khmer film industry makes the members the best qualified to choose which film should represent Cambodia.”
Recently, Cambodia has submitted Lost Loves by Mr. Chhay Bora in 2012, and The Missing Picture by Mr. Rithy Panh in 2013. In 2014, there were no films submitted to COSC. In order for films to qualify, they must have a theatrical release between Oct 1st and Sept 30th of each year, among other requirements. Filmmakers are required to notify COSC by July 15 of each year of their intention to submit. “We encourage filmmakers to contact us before the post-production of their film, so we can review the requirements with them and help make sure they meet all of The Academy qualifications,” said Ms. Arthur.
Now that The Last Reel has been submitted to The Academy for consideration in the Foreign Language Film Award category of the Oscars, everyone must wait to see if it will be chosen as a final nominee for an Oscar. First, all the films in this category are reviewed and nine films are shortlisted. Of these, the final 5 official nominees are chosen, which will be voted on by Academy members for the Oscar-winning film. The Oscar ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, 28 February 2016. Broadcast live on Monday morning 29 February 2016, the COSC will be hosting the 7th annual Hollywood Awards Live event in Phnom Penh.
The Last Reel is out now in all leading Cambodian cinemas, including Major Cineplex by Cellcard at Aeon Mall; Legend Cinemas at TK Avenue, City Mall and Stung Meanchey; and Platinum Cineplex Sorya and Platinum Cineplex in Siem Reap.
The Oscars are the Olympics of the film industry and Cambodia has a medal hope in the shape of The Last Reel. The Last Reel has already won 6 awards at international film festivals. Will there be another award?
Visit The Last Reel website (www.thelastreel.info) to learn more about the film, including a fullscreen trailer and lots of online film stills, behind-the-scenes and award photos, plus an online brochure.
There is also an official The Last Reel Facebook page for breaking news: href=”https://www.facebook.com/The-Last-Reel-1581309628755913/timeline/” target=”_blank”>The Last Reel