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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 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

The Last Reel is Going Global at International Film Festivals

The Last Reel continues to screen at international film festivals around the world, including the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 23-30 April 2015, the Far East Film Festival, Udine, Italy, 23 April – 02 May 2015, before returning to the US to screen at the new Bentonville Film Festival, 05-09 May 2015.

The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar accepts the prestigious Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2014

The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar accepts the prestigious Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2014

The Last Reel has already won two international awards, including the ‘Spirit of Asia’ Award for Director Sotho Kulikar at the Tokyo International Film Festival in Japan in October 2014 and the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ Award for Sok Sothun at the Asean International Film Festival& Awards in Malaysia in April 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 Rous 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 Screenings

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
4.45pm on Saturday 25 April 2015 at the Downtown Independent, 251 So. Main Street, Los Angeles.

4.30pm on Monday 27 April 2015 at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum at JANM, 111 No. Central Avenue, Los Angeles.

Far East Film Festival, Udine
11.25am on Thursday 30 April at the Teatro Nuevo, Udine.

Bentonville Film Festival
5.30pm on Tuesday 5 May at the NWACC White Auditorium, Bentonville.

Previous Film Festival Screenings

Tokyo International Film Festival, October 2014: http://2014.tiff-jp.net/en/tiff/list_of_winners.html

Cambodia International Film Festival, December 2014: http://cambodia-iff.com/index.php/en/films/feature-films/cambodia-cinema

Singapore International Film Festival, December 2014: http://sgiff.com/

Helsinki CineAasia, March 2015: http://helsinkicineaasia.fi/2015/02/the-last-reel/

Asia House Film Festival, London, March 2015: http://asiahouse.org/arts-learning/film/asia-house-film-festival-2015/

Asean International Film Festival, Kuching, April 2015: http://www.aiffa2015.com/

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

The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar Accepts the Spirit of Asia Award

The official Tokyo International Film Festival videos are now live on the Hanuman Films Youtube channel. See The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar deliver a moving acceptance speech dedicated to Cambodia and Cambodians everywhere as she accepts the Spirit of Asia Award by the Japan Foundation Asia Center.

 

The Cambodian premiere of The Last Reel will be at 18.00pm at the Major Cineplex, Aeon Mall, on Friday 5 December, the opening film of the Cambodian International Film Festival, but this is by invitation only.
There will be two more screenings for The Last Reel. 17.30pm on 9 December at Legend Cinema, Tuol Kork and 16.15pm on 10 December at Major Cineplex, Aeon Mall, both in Phnom Penh. Details on advance tickets will be announced by CIFF soon. Both screenings to be followed by a Q & A with award-winning Director Sotho Kulikar and selected cast members.

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.”

ខ្សែភាពយន្ត​ខ្មែរមួយ ឈ្នះ​​ពាន​ពី​ជប៉ុន

សែភាពយន្ត​​ខ្មែរ​រឿង “The Last Reel ឬ ដុំ​ហ្វីល​ចុង​ក្រោយ” របស់ អ្នកស្រី សុទ្ធោ គុល្លិការ បាន​ទទួល​ពាន​រង្វាន់​ពី​មហោស្រព​ភាពយន្ត​អន្តរជាតិ​មួយ​នៅ​ទី​ក្រុង Tokyo ប្រទេស​ជប៉ុន កាល​​ពី​ចុង​ខែ តុលា ឆ្នាំ ២០១៤​នេះ។

The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar accepts the prestigious Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2014

The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar accepts the prestigious Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2014


ពាន​ដែល​ខ្សែភាពយន្ត​​រឿង “The Last Reel ឬ ដុំ​ហ្វីល​ចុង​ក្រោយ” ទទួល​បាន​មាន​ឈ្មោះ​ថា ” ដួង​ព្រលឹង​អាស៊ី ឬ The Spirit of Asia “ ពី​មជ្ឈមណ្ឌល​មូលនិធិ​អាស៊ី​ជប៉ុន ​។ អ្នកស្រី សុទ្ធោ គុល្លិការ ដែល​អ្នក​ដឹក​នាំ​សម្ដែង និង​ ជា​ផលិតករ​នៃ ខ្សែភាពយន្ត​មួយ​នេះ​បាន​ឲ្យ​ដឹង​ថា មហោស្រព Tokyo International Film Festival 2014 បាន​ធ្វើ​តាំង​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី ២៣ រហូត ដល់​ថ្ងៃ​ទី ៣១ ខែ តុលា ឆ្នាំ ២០១៤ កន្លង​ទៅ​នេះ ដោយ​នៅ​ក្នុង​នោះ​​ខ្សែភាពយន្ត ជាង ២០០ រឿង ​មក​ពី​តំបន់​អាស៊ី ត្រូវ​បាន​ដាក់​ចូល​រួម​ប្រកួត ប៉ុន្តែ ​គណៈកម្មការ​សម្រេច​ជ្រើសរើស​យក​តែ​ ៣០ រឿង ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ មក​ចាក់​បញ្ចាំង​ប្រកួត។ ជាលទ្ធផល​​មាន​តែ ១១ រឿង​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ដែល​ទទួល​ពានរង្វាន់​ក្នុង​កម្មវិធី​នេះ​ក្នុង​នោះ​ក៏​មាន​ខ្សែភាពយន្ត​​​​ខ្មែរ។

រឿង “The Last Reel ឬ ដុំ​ហ្វីល​ចុង​ក្រោយ” ដែល​​ទទួល​បាន​ពាន​រង្វាន់ “ដួង​ព្រលឹង​អាស៊ី ឬ The Spirit of Asia “ ជា​ខ្សែភាពយន្ត​ដែល​និយាយ​ពី មរតក​នៃ​ភាព​រន្ធត់ របស់​ក្រុម​គ្រួសារ​កម្ពុជា ក្នុង​របប​ខ្មែរ​ក្រហម និង ផល​ប៉ះពាល់​ពី​សម័យ​នោះ មក​សង្គម​កម្ពុជា សម័យ​ក្រោយៗ​ទៀត។ តារា​សម្ដែង​នៅ​ក្នុង​រឿង​នេះ មាន អ្នក​ស្រី ឌឺ សាវ៉េត កញ្ញា ម៉ារី ណែត និង លោក សុខ សុធន លោក ហ៊ុន សុភី និង តារា​សម្ដែង​មួយ​ចំនួន​ទៀត។

រឿង “The Last Reel ឬ ដុំ​ហ្វីល​ចុង​ក្រោយ” គឺ​ជា​ស្នាដៃ​លើក​​ដំបូង របស់​អ្នកស្រី សុទ្ធោ គុល្លិការ។ អ្នក​ស្រី​ថា ជោគជ័យ​ដែល ទទួល​បាន​នេះ គឺ​ជា​ កម្លាំង​ចិត្ត​ដ៏ធំ ក្នុង​ការ​ជំរុញ​ឲ្យ​អ្នក​ស្រី​ផលិត​ភាពយន្ត​បន្ត​ទៀត។

បើ​តាម​ការ​បញ្ជាក់​ពី​អ្នក​ដឹង​នាំ​រឿង​មួយ​នេះ រឿង”The Last Reel ឬ ដុំ​ហ្វីល​ចុង​ក្រោយ” នៅ​មិន​ទាន់​មាន​គម្រោង​​ដាក់​បញ្ចាំង​លក់​សំបុត្រ​តាម​រោងភាពយន្ត​នានា​​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​​នៅ​ឡើយ ប៉ុន្តែ​ខ្សែភាពយន្ត​មួយ​នេះ គ្រោង​នឹង​ចូល​រួម ក្នុង​មហោស្រព​ភាពយន្ត​កម្ពុជា ដែល​នឹង​ត្រូវ​ធ្វើ​នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី ៥ រហូត​ដល់​ថ្ងៃ​ទី ១០ ខែ ធ្នូ ឆ្នាំ ២០១៤ ខាង​មុន​នេះ៕

“A Reel of Hope and Love” in The Nation newspaper, Bangkok

One of Thailand’s leading English-language daily newspapers, The Nation, ran a detailed story on The Last Reel director Sotho Kulikar on 11 November, by Donsaron Kovitvanitcha, reproduced below.

Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar works with actors on set during filming.

Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar works with actors on set during filming.

The 1960s are widely known as the golden age of Cambodian cinema with more than 300 films made in slightly over a decade including the horror flick “Pos Keng Kang” (“The Snake King’s Wife”) by Tea Lim Kun, which enjoyed great success in Thailand. The take-over of the country by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 brought an abrupt end to that era, with many movers and shakers killed or forced to flee abroad and despite peace returning to Cambodia 20 years ago, the industry has remained small.

Now Cambodia looks set to enter a second golden age thanks to a new generation of talented filmmakers who have been scooping up awards. The most recent to take home a top prize was Sotho Kulikar, who received the Spirit of Asia award from the Japan Foundation Asia Centre at last month’s prestigious Tokyo International Film Festival for her directorial debut “The Last Reel”.

“I wanted to tell the story of my country from the perspective of a Cambodian who has gone through the period of war and poverty,” says Kulikar, one of the few female film directors in Cambodian film history. The most famous is Ung Kanthouk who survived the Khmer Rouge and now resides in France and directed “Mouy Mern Alai” (“10,000 Regrets:) which was also released in Thailand. Also well up the stepladder to fame is Kalyanee Mamm whose “A River Changed Course” was the first Cambodian documentary to be screened at Sundance Film Festival.

Kulikar already has more than 10 years of experienced to her credit and heads her own production service company Hanuman Films, which has worked on many international productions including the Angelina Jolie vehicle “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”.

She became director of “The Last Reel” almost by accident. “When the script came to me, I was intending to be the line producer, which is my field of work, but the scriptwriter encouraged me to take the helm,” she explains.

“The Last Reel” begins in modern-day Cambodia when Sophoun (Ma Rynet) escapes the marriage arranged by her family and seeks refuge in an old movie theatre. There she meets Vichea (Sok Sothun), an old projectionist who shows her an unreleased film from the pre-Khmer Rouge days and tells her that the last reel is missing. Sophoun feels a connection with the story and after finding out that her mother was the lead actress sets out to try to complete it by re-shooting the lost part. In the process, she learns the story of her parents during the days under the Khmer Rouge.

“I was 19 months old when the Khmer Rouge took control of Phnom Penh,” Kulikar says, adding that she too feels a connection to the script.

“I was in my father’s arms when our family was forced to leave the city. I grew up during the period but I can’t remember things very clearly. One thing that I remember well is that during the later years of that regime, I didn’t see my father anymore. Suddenly he was gone. I was sent to live in the children’s camp. One day there was a massive storm and the building collapsed. My mother who was working in the rice field ran to the children’s camp to find me. As she reached the building, the old lady who looked after the children held me up to show I’m still live. After the genocide, all that was left of the family was me, my mother and my sister.”

Much of “The Last Reel” is focused on the 1960s and the films made during that decade. Kulikar watched many of them in the post-regime years.

“I love the golden age of Khmer cinema. I love the films directed by our King Father Norodom Sihanouk like ‘The Rose of Bokor’ and Ung Kanthouk’s movies like ‘Mouy Mern Alai’, which reflects modern Cambodian society back then. I love the purity of the old Khmer films, and I want everyone to start talking about the films from the golden age.”

Dy Saveth, the renowned Khmer actress who starred in “Snake Man” plays Sophoun’s mother, Srey Mom, and it is her face that appears in the unreleased film.

“Dy Saveth represents our glorious years, and she is a very talented actress. The combination of her legacy and the fact that she is still full of energy as an actress is the reason I asked her to be in my film.”

“I’ve known Kulikar for a while,” adds Dy Saveth who was in Tokyo for the screening, her second visit after a gap of almost 50 years.

“When Kulikar gave me the script I was instantly attracted to the title. I wanted to understand more about the period of the Khmer Rouge when I was not in Cambodia,” says the veteran actress who fled to Thailand before the fall of Phnom Penh and lived in France for almost 20 years before returning to Cambodia in 1994.

“There’s a lot of energy running through Cambodian cinema,” says Kulikar, “We have Rithy Panh whose films are selected for the major film festivals and ‘The Missing Picture’ was also nominated for an Academy Award. Two year ago we co-produced ‘Ruin’ with an Australian company and the film was screened in Venice.

“All that energy as well as the support we receive through the social media is really giving hope to the new generation of filmmakers.”

After its success in Tokyo, “The Last Reel” will return home this December as the opening film of the Cambodia International Film Festival, before continuing its travels around the festival circuit.

“It’s been selected for the Singapore International Film Festival too and we are talking with many others. Our aim is to show ‘The Last Reel’ as several festivals before it goes for commercial release in Cambodia,” she says.

The Nation, Bangkok, 11 November 2014, 01.00am

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/A-reel-of-hope-and-love-30247418.html

The Spirit of Cambodia shines through in the Spirit of Asia Award

The Last Reel Director Sotho Kulikar gave a moving acceptance speech when collecting the Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

27th Tokyo International Film Festival award winners, including Sotho Kulikar (far left)

27th Tokyo International Film Festival award winners, including Sotho Kulikar (far left)

“I want to thank TIFF and Japan for selecting my Cambodian film. This will help boost the recognition of the filmmaking industry in my home country, Cambodia. This success I owe so many people, whether you are here, in Cambodia or in Australia. Thanks to my children, my husband, my sister for being here, and to my mother, a great role model in my life. Without her I would not be here. My mother once told me that before the civil war took place, she said to my father that we should leave the country and stay in Europe a little while. My father said why would you want to leave cambodia and live in Europe where there is only 6 months of sunshine each year, in our country when you open the window the sun shines everyday. His expression was for his love of his country, so this award is for my country, Cambodia.”

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