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‘Talents Tokyo 2015’ is open to looking for Cambodian Film Talent

Open to young filmmakers from East Asia and Southeast Asia, Talents Tokyo 2015 is a chance for Cambodia’s talented filmmakers to shine on the international stage.

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

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

Follow in the footsteps of The Last Reel’s award-winning Director Sotho Kulikar and make an impact in Japan, where she won the ‘Spirit of Asia’ Award by the Japan Foundation Asia Center at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2014. “Talents Tokyo 2015” is open for applications from 18 May to 18 June 2015. Tokyo Talents aims to inspire promising filmmakers to develop their voices and become the “Next Masters”.

During the 6 days of the 16th TOKYO FILMeX held from November 23-28, 2015, the filmmaker development project “Talents Tokyo 2015″ will be conducted through the supervision of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Talents Tokyo Organizing Committee (TOKYO FILMeX), in cooperation with Berlinale Talents, in collaboration with GOETHE-INSTITUT Tokyo.

Bringing together 15 upcoming promising filmmakers and producers, film experts at the forefront of cinema will share their experiences through lectures.Each participant will have the benefit of presenting his/her own project. Four experts and local industry professionals will analyze each project on its various aspects, such as directing, producing and investment viability.

For more details visit the Talents Tokyo 2015 website: http://talents-tokyo.jp/2015/

The Last Reel at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy

The Last Reel is screening at the 17th Far East Film Festival (FEFF2015) in Udine and award-winning Director Sotho Kulikar is there to share the film with all “appassionatoas di cinema” in Italy. The screening on 30/4 was so well-received that festival organisers have requested an additional encore screening on 03/5. Forza Italia!

Here is the trailer for The Last Reel on the Far East Film Festival Youtube channel.

 

And here is a wonderful overview of the film by festival programmer Paulo Bertolin:

“There are films whose relevance transcends mere narrative, figurative and cinematographic success. Sotho Kulikar’s directing debut, The Last Reel, is clearly in this category. This is without taking anything away from the creative efforts of the director and her technical-artistic crew.

The Last Reel opens with the noisy, eddying images of a fun fair, where the young Sophoun is spending an enjoyable evening with her boyfriend Veasna. She is a rebellious, free-spirited student, her assertive character not looked upon kindly either at home or at university. He is a small-time crook, head of a gang of motorcyclists. This unlikely Romeo and Juliet represent the new generation of Cambodians, attracted by the bling of modern-day consumerists Western society, most of whom are unaware of the painful past of their own country.

A past that explodes into Sophoun’s life when, one evening, Veasna deserts her following a fight with a rival gang. She goes to an abandoned cinema used as a motorcycle parking lot, and there she meets the old owner, Sokha, intent on seeing an old film. The film is The Long Way Home, which starred the rising star, Sothea, whom Sophoun recognises as her mother Srey Mom (played by the real diva of classic Khmer cinema, Dy Saveth). Sokha tells Sophoun that the film was shot just before the taking of Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge, and that the last reel of the film was lost. With the aim of trying to help her mother – who is married to a strict colonel who probably played a part in the country’s bloody past – come to terms with the traumas that afflict her, Sophoun decides to find a way to reshoot the last scene of the film, so that it can be shown to today’s public.

A melodrama, which spans family and history, a strong feminist vein running through it, The Last Reel is a kind of narrative reworking of the excellent documentary Le Sommeil d’or (2011) by Davy Chou, in which the young French-Cambodian director rediscovered the lost golden years of Khmer cinema, portraying the events that took place, the tragedies and exile of the directors, actors and crew persecuted during the Khmer Rouge regime, trying to re-evoke from collective memories the images and sounds that have been lost in time.

Sotho Kulikar also takes as her starting point the ‘(re)discovery’ of films from the past, delving into the collective traumas of the Cambodian people. Along the way to completing The Long Way Home, Sophoun makes many discoveries; secrets, lies, truths, that not only provide a history lesson, but also, delving deeper, unveil the secrets of the human soul. In the messy emotional web and sense of guilt, both past and present, Sophoun ends up realizing that the best path to take, although not an easy one, is that of forgiveness and understanding. The conflict between “the true end which I hate and the lie which I love” is resolved in a final reel that represents an alternative between past and present, between truth and fiction. So at the premier of the ‘reconstructed’ film the various players in the painful events of the country can finally sit side by side in harmony with a present/future that can be dealt with.

With the help of an international crew – mainly from Australia – Sotho Kulikar has in some way transferred Sophoun’s experience into her way of movie-making (or vice versa). The Last Reel is a deeply honest, generous film, at times a little naive and sentimental in its more melodramatic moments in which the director has invested body and soul to recall the past of her people and to help them overcome the trauma it has caused. She has an admirable faith in cinema, in its power and magic (its healing powers too). As Sophoun announces in the finale, and something that is easy to believe thanks to The Last Reel, now that the past has been faced, “new stories are ready to be told by our own generation.”

Paolo Bertolin

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

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 Review in The Hollywood Reporter

Industry magazine The Hollywood Reporter gave The Last Reel an excellent review after THR writer Clarence Tsui watched the movie at the Singapore International Film Festival last month.

The Last Reel

The Last Reel


“Sotho Kulikar addresses Cambodia’s cinematic peaks and historical troughs through a family drama about a young woman’s rite of passage through filmmaking

With The Last Reel, Cambodian cinema’s resurgence as a filmmaking force continues apace with, again, some help from beyond Southeast Asia – or, specifically, Australia, from which the film’s screenwriter-producer, cinematographer, editor and soundtrack composer hail. But at the helm is a Cambodian director, and at its center a distinctly local story designed to address how different generations struggle with the country’s suppressed and still unresolved Khmer Rouge-inflicted traumas.

The cultural specificity of the tale is also given a universal touch, as Sotho Kulikar – who worked on the Cambodian shoot of Hollywood films like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and a rare female filmmaker in what remains a patriarchal society – conjures remarkable performances from her lead actresses in an attempt to reflect historical schisms through the tropes of rebellious-daughter family drama.

The Last Reel could be considered the fictional-feature take on themes broached in Cambodian documentaries securing widespread acclaim on the festival circuit in the past two years. With a nod to the issues brought to prominence by established auteur Rithy Panh‘s Oscar-nominated The Missing Picture and up-and-coming archivist-cum-directorDavey Chou‘s celebration of Khmer-language cinema in Golden Slumbers, Kulikar and her screenwriter Ian Masters (who wrote of being inspired by an exhibition curated by Chou) conjured a story in which a young woman rediscovers his parents’ buried pasts through an engagement with images flickering on screens in long-abandoned picture palaces. Offering a mix of humanistic drama and a celebration of the powers of cinema, The Last Reel‘s Asian stops – first Tokyo, then Singapore, and finally at home in Phnom Penh – will definitely be just a prologue to bookings beyond its nearby shores.

The character undergoing the film’s central rite of passage is Sophoun (Ma Rynet), who begins the film as a listless young college student whiling away her time as some kind of moll of her leather-jacketed, motorbike-cradling hoodlum boyfriend Veasna (Rous Mony, star of 2012 Venice entryRuin). All this seems to be a reaction against the tyranny at home, where she’s disparaged by her decorated-soldier father (Hun Sophy), and an arranged marriage into a prominent family and books about “moral conduct for women” await.

It’s during one of her escapades with Veasna that she first discovers cracks in her family, as she wanders around the disused cinema she frequents and discovers her mother’s photograph plastered across the wall. It’s at this point that she learns of how she’s not the first rebel in the family: the meek, middle-aged woman at home was actually once a famous actress, the star of a film made none other by the unassuming caretaker of the theater-turned-garage. When told the final reel of the retained film was lost during the Khmer Rouge years,Sophoun took it on herself to try and bring that movie – and her mother – to life, an attempt which turned out to reveal much more about the anguish suffered by all the jaded elders around her.

The Last Reel is obviously Kulikar’s gesture of the need to bring Cambodia and its cultural legacy alive – not just for the benefit of those nostalgic about their good old days, but also a new generation born after the 1990s and basically unaware (and uninterested) about the Khmer civilization’s halcyon days and how it’s all swept away within four years by Pol Pot and his murderous cadres. In this sense, The Last Reel’s trump card lies in its metatexuality, of introducing young hipsters to figures they barely know: playing the mother is actually Dy Saveth, an iconic figure in Cambodian cinema in the pre-Khmer Rouge times and one of the few actors who survived the pogroms (she was out of the country when the extremists took power in 1975, and went into exile until the 1990s). Meanwhile, cast in the vanquished-filmmaker role is Sok Sothun, a real-life director who lived through the purges and went on to study cinema in Moscow in the 1990s. (The derelict cinema shown on screen is the now-abandoned Prasat Meas theater in the city of Battambang.)

The Last Reel is beautifully shot, with Bonnie Elliott’s camerawork easing the film’s gradual relocation from the neon-lit, nocturnal urban frenzy in the beginning to poignant pastoralism towards the end, as the story draws to a close with a delicate homage to the traditional aesthetics of classical Khmer culture and cinema. But this is not just about mere reconciliation or putting ghosts to rest, Masters’ screenplay also harks to how the past doesn’t just haunt but actually lingers in a cycle, as the high-brass ruling Cambodia today are revealed to have just switched uniforms back in 1979, or when the unjust measures in the social system of the past – not just among the late 1970s killing fields, but further beyond to the underbelly of Cambodia’s glorious heyday – are still peddled around as norms.

Beneath the tranquility, a simmering fury abounds – an emotion burning brightly in performances all around, ranging from Rynet and Mony’s vivacity to the veterans’ internalized anger and self-disgust. The Last Reel is more like part of a new exciting beginning than the end, one foreign-assisted step (like the Paris-based Panh and Chou, whose films are largely financed by European funds) back to the consolidation of a national cinema in Cambodia.”

Venue: Singapore International Film Festival

Production company: Hanuman Films

Cast: Ma Rynet, Rous Mony, Dy Saveth, Hun Sophy

Director: Sotho Kulikar

Screenwriter: Ian Masters

Producers: Ian Masters, Sotho Kulikar, Murray Pope

Executive producers: Lloyd Levin, Sotho Tan, Nick Ray, Chris Wheeldon

Director of photography: Bonnie Elliott

Editor: Katie Flexman

Music: Christopher Elves

Casting director: Sithorn

In Khmer

 

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 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

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