Film Buffs Prepare for European Film Festival Cambodia

The European Film Festival Cambodia gets underway this month, screening more than 25 films from more than 20 countries
View of Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake meets in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
View of Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake meets in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

A cross-cultural celebration of international film will land in Phnom Penh this month as the European Film Festival Cambodia (EUFF23) returns to the Kingdom.

The 10-day event, hosted by the European Union Delegation to Cambodia. will present 26 feature films and two short film events from more than 20 countries, as well as a string of other activities.

Genres span inspirational drama and uplifting comedy, chilling true crime and heart-warming fantasy, with this year’s festival taking place at Aeon 1 Mall’s Major Cineplex, the French Institute, Meta House and Bophana Centre.

“I’ve always found the craft of filmmaking to be mesmerising,” said Cambodian actress, Kosamak San. “I want to see the gathering of filmmakers from Europe to share and showcase their works and the beauty of filmmaking.”

A pre-event panel discussion will kick-start the event on Tuesday, February 14 at Phnom Penh’s French Institute. Kosamak will be joined by film industry professionals Ines Sothea, Cedric Eloy, Jimmy Henderson, and Nicolas Sacré.

The panel will examine cross-cultural collaboration and what this means for Cambodia’s next generation of movie makers. The event will also provide context and insights on the impacts of foreign film festivals and examine what makes cinema such a transcendent medium for cultural exchange. It will conclude with a Q&A session.

“Cinema has an amazing power because it can showcase things very precisely, with image and sound,” said Nicolas Sacré, dean of Phnom Penh’s PSE film school. “It opens our eyes and our minds to global situations and helps us understand the world better.”

Screenings will start on February 17 with Ukrainian film, Mother of Apostles, at the French Institute’s garden. This will be followed by a jam-packed bill of films from countries, including Poland, Croatia, Spain and England.