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Check out the Cambodia Town Film Festival 2015 Highlights Video

Cambodian Town Film Festival | Highlights from SIN Media on Vimeo.

If you missed your chance to join the ‪CTFF 2015‬ in Long Beach, California, you can check out some highlights in this video. You will see our main actors, including Ma Ryneth, Dy Savet, Sok Sokthun, Ros Mony and Hun Sothy.

‪The Last Reel‬ also won the ‘Best Narrative Feature’ award at this festival adding up to a total of 7 awards, 2 for the film, 1 for the Director and 4 for the actors.

តើអ្នកអាចស្វែងរកតួអង្គក្នុងរឿង”ដុំហ្វីលចុងក្រោយ” នៅក្នុងវីឌីអូនេះដែររឺទេ?

បើអ្នកខកខានឱកាសចូលរួម អ្នកអាចមើលសកម្មភាពសង្ខេបៗមានដូចជា ការចាក់បញ្ចាំង រឿងខ្មែរល្បីៗ វេទិកាសំណួរចម្លើយ និងការកម្សាន្តនានានៅក្នុងមហោស្រពភាពយន្តក្រុងកម្ពុជា (CTFF) តាមរយ:វីឌីអូនេះ។

The Last Reel is Cambodia’s Official Selection for the 2016 Oscars

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.

Director Sotho Kulikar on set with actors Sok Sothun and Ma Rynet in The Last Reel

Director Sotho Kulikar on set with actors Sok Sothun and Ma Rynet in The Last Reel

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 Director Sotho Kulikar receives the Spirit of Asia Award.

The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar receives the Spirit of Asia Award.

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.

The Last Reel Premiere CIFF 2014

The Last Reel Premiere Cambodia International Film Festival 2014

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.

The Last Reel wins the 'Best Narrative Feature Award' at the Cambodia Town Film Festival inLong Beach, Los Angeles

The Last Reel wins the ‘Best Narrative Feature Award’ at the Cambodia Town Film Festival inLong Beach, Los Angeles

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 Last Reel Film Poster, out now in all cinemas in Cambodia

The Last Reel Film Poster, out now in all cinemas in Cambodia

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?

Website
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.

Facebook
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

The Last Reel Wins ‘Best Narrative Feature’ at Film Festival in the US

The Last Reel brings home its first American award from Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, USA.

The Last Reel Award Best Narrative Feature Award

The Last Reel Award Best Narrative Feature Award

This weekend saw the Cambodia Town Film Festival at the Art Theatre, Long Beach and the The Last Reel was honoured as the ‘Best Narrative Feature’ or the best feature film at this year’s festival. The lead actors were all on hand to collect the award in person, including Dy Saveth, Ma Rynet, Sok Sothun, Hun Sophy and Ros Mony, plus Producer Nick Ray. The legendary Dy Saveth picked up a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for her contribution to the Cambodian film industry, making it a double header for The Last Reel.

Dy Saveth Lifetime Achievement Award

Dy Saveth Lifetime Achievement Award

‪The Last Reel‬ screened to a sellout audience of 380 as the opening film of the 3rd Cambodia Town Film Festival on Saturday 5 September. After a moving screening, the cast and crew went on stage for a Q & A with the festival organisers.

Many thanks to the Cambodian-American community in Long Beach for their incredible hospitality which included taking the actors on a tour of the Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame’ on Friday and a tour of Long Beach sights on Sunday, including the Aquarium of the Pacific and the venerable Queen Mary.

The Last Reel Cast on the Queen Mary, Long Beach

The Last Reel Cast on the Queen Mary, Long Beach

There were also lots of social events by night, including a ‘Meet the Filmmakers’ evening at Thunder Studios, an opening party at landmark Sophy Restaurant, a ‘rom vong’ session at Legends Seafood Restaurant and an on-on to the even more legendary Dragon House nightclub, made famous by the Dengue Fever album, ‘Enter the Dragon House’.

Ros Mony and Ma Rynet on the Walk of Fame

Ros Mony and Ma Rynet on the Walk of Fame

A huge thanks to all those involved in the Cambodia Town Film Festival, including Festival Directors Caylee So and praCh Ly, and all the members of the festival committee who chose The Last Reel as the ‘Best Narrative Feature’. Thanks also to the army of volunteers helping with the event who helped ensure the actors had an incredible time in Long Beach and Los Angeles. The welcome and friendship was very much appreciated by all those involved in The Last Reel. They will never forget the experience.

Dy Saveth Ma Rynet Yeak Attack

Dy Saveth Ma Rynet Yeak Attack

Thank you also to the all-important sponsors who made CTFF 2015 possible and managed to assist with funding the actors to join this celebration of Cambodian film, including the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, the Nancy Lee Show in Los Angeles and the Cambodia Town Film Festival team. And Hanuman Films of course, who coordinated the whole trip.

The Last Reel is Coming Home to Cambodia from 4 September 2015

The Last Reel will be on release in all cinemas in Cambodia on Friday 4 September 2015, including Major Cineplex, Platinum Cineplexes and Legend Cinemas.

The Last Reel Film Poster

The Last Reel Film Poster


Please share the news that this award-winning Cambodian film will be in local cinemas with your family and friends via email and social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Here is the official The Last Reel Facebook page for breaking news: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Last-Reel/1581309628755913

The Last Reel has already won three international awards, including the ‘Spirit of Asia’ Award for Director Sotho Kulikar at the Tokyo International Film Festival in Japan in October 2014; the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ Award for Sok Sothun at the Asean International Film Festival& Awards in Malaysia in April 2015; and the ‘Black Dragon’ Award at the Far East Film Festival in Italy in May 2015.

International Film Reviews

The Hollywood Reporter
“With The Last Reel, Cambodian cinema’s resurgence as a filmmaking force continues apace… Sotho Kulikar conjures remarkable performances from her lead actresses in an attempt to reflect historical schisms through the tropes of rebellious-daughter family drama.”

Empire Magazine
“The spotlight falls on another lost tradition in Kulikar Sotho’s The Last Reel, a deeply moving memoir of the golden age of Cambodian cinema that was swept away and all but eradicated by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.”

The Playlist on Indiewire
“The Last Reel” relates a personal, cross-generational tale of love and hate to the loss of cultural heritage and identity that occurred when Khmer Rouge outlawed moviemaking and destroyed a thriving national industry, and if only in its own last reel, it has both educational and deeply emotional impact… affecting and gripping… a passionate cri de coeur.”

Background

The Last Reel is one of the first feature films to be directed by a Cambodian woman and is generating significant international interest. The Last Reel was shot entirely on location in Cambodia during 2013 with a cast of leading local talent, including Ma Rynet, Dy Saveth and Ros Mony. It is a Hanuman Films (www.hanumanfilms.com) production.

“A lost film buried beneath the Killing Fields 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.”

Forthcoming Film Festival Dates

There are lots of leading film festival screenings lined up for the rest of the year, including a selection in the next month in the Philippines, Thailand, Japan and the US:

Cinemalaya, Manila, Philippines, August 2015: www.cinemalaya.org/films/asian-section/last-reel

Asean Film Festival, Bangkok, Thailand, August 2015

Aichi International Women’s Film Festival, Nagoya, Japan, September 2015: www.aiwff.com/2015/en/

Cambodia Town Film Festival, Long Beach, USA, September 2015: http://www.cambodiatownfilmfestival.com/

Earlier Film Festival Dates

The film has already screened at several prestigious international festivals around the world, including:

Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan, October 2014

Cambodia International Film Festival, Phnom Penh, December 2014

Singapore International Film Festival, December 2014

Asia House Film Festival, London, March 2015

Asean International Film Festival, Malaysia, April 2015

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, USA, April 2015

Far East Film Festival, Udine, Italy, April 2015

Bentonville Film Festival, USA, May 2015

Cines del Sur, Granada, Spain, June 2015

Taipei Film Festival, Taiwan, July 2015

New York Asian Film Festival, USA, July 2015

Pittsburgh Silkscreen Festival, USA, July 2015

Asian Film Festival of Dallas, USA, July 2015

Useful Links

Website
Visit The Last Reel website (www.thelastreel.info) to learn more about the film, including a fullscreen version of the trailer.

Facebook
There is also an official The Last Reel Facebook page for breaking news: The Last Reel

Online Brochure
View the online brochure at: http://www.thelastreel.info/public/documents/The%20Last%20Reel.pdf

Online Gallery
View selected stills, behind-the-scenes and awards at: http://www.thelastreel.info/en/gallery

Empire reviews The Last Reel as part of the Asia House Film Festival

Following the sellout success of The Last Reel at the recent Asia House Film Festival, Empire reviews the films on show in London.

The Last Reel actors Sok Sothun and Ma Rynet on set on The Last Reel

The Last Reel actors Sok Sothun and Ma Rynet on set on The Last Reel

“The spotlight falls on another lost tradition in Kulikar Sotho’s The Last Reel, a deeply moving memoir of the golden age of Cambodian cinema that was swept away and all but eradicated by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. This would make a perfect companion piece to Davy Chou’s exceptional documentary about Khmer-language film, Golden Slumbers (2011), and The Missing Picture (2013), Rithy Panh’s Oscar-nominated treatise on the disappearance of visual evidence during the Killing Fields era. However, one suspects this will be the sole chance that UK audiences will get to experience it.

College student Ma Rynet is tired of army colonel father Hun Sophy trying to marry her off into a prominent family. She is well aware that biker boyfriend Rous Mony is a bit of a rebel without a cause and concedes she is probably drawn to him because he is the complete opposite of what her reactionary father envisages for her. But her focus shifts when she flees from yet another argument with Sophy and takes refuge in a fleapit cinema.

As she watches a flickering, incomplete melodrama from the early 1970s, Rynet recognises the leading lady as her ailing mother, Dy Saveth. She is amazed to see the careworn woman who has put up with Sophy’s tyranny for so long lighting up the screen with her beauty and talent. So, she asks elderly projectionist Sok Sothun if he knows anything about Saveth and why the last reel of the picture is missing.

As she learns about the assault that Pol Pot launched on film stars and directors (whom he branded enemies of the people for raising false hopes about impossible happy ever afters), Rynet vows to recreate the lost footage by standing in for Saveth in the hope that, on seeing herself in her former glory and recognising how well she has raised her daughter, she will be able to exorcise the ghosts from her past and find some peace for the dreams she lost and the nightmares she had to endure.

Australian screenwriter Ian Masters got the idea for the scenario after visiting an exhibition that Chou had curated. However, it is not difficult to detect the influence of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988) in places, particularly in the derelict picturehouse (which is, apparently, the Prasat Meas theatee in Battambang). But Sotho and cinematographer Bonnie Elliott make evocative use of all of their locations around Phnom Penh and it is a real coup that she was able to cast a director of the calibre of Sothun and a screen legend like Saveth, the former Miss Cambodia whose 100+ films included Norodom Sihanouk’s Twilight (1969), Tea Lim Koun’s The Snake King’s Wife (1970), and Hui Keung’s Crocodile Man (1972). Only around 30 of the 300 features made in the decade before Year Zero survive and this is a fitting tribute to them and the lost, but not forgotten artists who made them.”

Read the full story online:

http://www.empireonline.com/festivalsandseasons/main.asp?FID=1785

The Last Reel homecoming premiere at the Cambodia International Film Festival

The homecoming premiere of The Last Reel was a big success on the opening night of the Cambodia International Film Festival at Major Cineplex, Aeon Mall, Phnom Penh.

The Last Reel Premiere CIFF 2014

The Last Reel Premiere Cambodia International Film Festival 2014

Many of The Last Reel team were there to enjoy the moment, including Director Sotho Kulikar, actors Ma Rynet (Sophoun), Dy Saveth (Srey Mom/Sothea), Sok Sothun (Vichea) and Rous Mony (Veasna), Writer/Producer Ian Masters; Producer Murray Pope and many more.

Ma Rynet scooped the CIFF Talent Award 2014 reflecting her commanding performance in The Last Reel. Meanwhile some of the team from the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Japan Foundation flew in to Cambodia especially to present The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar with her engraved Spirit of Asia Award, with the Japanese Ambassador on hand to welcome them in the kingdom. Two festivals and two awards for those involved in The Last Reel, what an achievement.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith at the Last Reel Premiere CIFF 2014 Khieu Kanharith

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith at the Last Reel Premiere CIFF 2014 Khieu Kanharith

Our sincere thanks go out to everyone involved in making the Cambodia premiere a special night, including the Cambodia International Film Festival team, the organisers, the sponsors and all those who turned out in force to make it so memorable. Particular thanks to the Minister of Culture H.E. Phoeurng Sackona (pictured above with the The Last Reel team) and the Minister of Information H.E. Khieu Kanharith (pictured above) for attending the opening night. There were many other VIPs and faces from the filmmaking community there and we hope everyone enjoyed the film.

Our thanks to our supporters Sabay for some great photographs on the night and interviews will be coming soon with Sotho Kulikar and Ma Rynet. For more images from Sabay, visit their website: http://news.sabay.com.kh/article/155834

The Last Reel has a ‘deeply emotional impact’ on The Playlist on Indiewire

The debut feature film from Hanuman Films and Director Sotho Kulikar is described as “affecting and gripping” and “a passionate cri de coeur”.

The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar works with actors Ma Rynet (Sophoun) and Sok Sothun (Vichea) in the abandoned cinema

The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar works with actors Ma Rynet (Sophoun) and Sok Sothun (Vichea) in the abandoned cinema

“The debut film from Cambodian director Sotho Kulikar, “The Last Reel” starts shakily but adds nuance and layers as it progresses to become affecting and gripping by its closing section, something noted by the committee who gave it the “Spirit of Asia” award at the Tokyo International Film Festival. This is the second Cambodian film that we know of to use the history of the country’s pop cultural/filmmaking past to comment on both the devastation wrought by the Khmer Rouge, and the cathartic power of storytelling. The widely lauded documentary/personal history “The Missing Picture” is the other picture, while the documentary “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten,” which plays at this year’s stacked DOC NYC fest and investigates the country’s relationship with rock ‘n’ roll, looks set to be a third entry into this mini-subgenre (and our attention was drawn to another — “Golden Slumbers” reviewed here). But “The Last Reel,” though heavily autobiographical, is not a documentary, and the unmistakably personal nature of its story allows it to become, by its close a passionate cri de coeur, and a lamentation for a period of cruelty and perverted ideology that scars, perhaps even maims, the collective Cambodian memory.

As simple fiction, the film flounders a little, especially initially when we are expected to invest in the rather empty-headed star cross’d romance between a young Cambodian girl and her no-good gang affiliated boyfriend. The snapshot it gives of current Cambodian attitudes to gender relations and familial duty is interesting, but the tale is an overfamiliar one, and the filmmaking, never terribly sophisticated, doesn’t give us much reason to suspect just what a stunning story Kulikar has up her sleeve. In fact, if it were our business to do so, we’d strongly urge her to make substantial cuts to this portion—essentially, she buries her fascinating lede under some not terribly interesting filler. And throughout the rest of the film, she only occasionally manages a true synthesis of the real story with the rather melodramatic turns the fictional overlay takes.

But no matter, because the real story that emerges, somehow all the more evocative for being told in glimpses, builds into a desperately moving, and surprising tale. A married, fragile ex-movie star, her overbearing husband, and the owner of the dilapidated cinema who pines for her, become entangled in a young girl’s desire to reshoot an ending to a currently unfinished film, and soon the secrets all three hide as to their roles and actions during the terror come to light. More about story than style, “The Last Reel” relates a personal, cross-generational tale of love and hate to the loss of cultural heritage and identity that occurred when Khmer Rouge outlawed moviemaking and destroyed a thriving national industry, and if only in its own last reel, it has both educational and deeply emotional impact.”

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