Hollywood icon Matt Dillon has been named as the official patron of the 12th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF), which will screen 188 films from 23 countries.
From May 30 to June 4, the 12th CIFF will present more than 180 free short and feature films, documentaries, and animation screenings in all major cinemas and other venues in Phnom Penh, including Legend Cinema, Major Cineplex, French Institute, Bophana Center, Rosewood Hotel Phnom Penh and Cine Hub.
Matt Dillon has been named as the patron for this year's festival. The American actor and director will be screening his 2002 noir thriller based in the Kingdom, ‘City of Ghosts’, for the festival’s closing ceremony, which is by invitation only.
"Making ‘City of Ghosts’ and being in Cambodia was one of the highlights of my life,” said Dillon. “Cambodia is a very special place to me. It is such a fertile ground for creativity. It’s really great to see that it’s really developed into a thriving film industry.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what these young filmmakers come up with in the future. The CIFF is incredibly important for Cambodian filmmakers and filmmakers throughout the world, these are the types of festivals that are so important for the development of cinema.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful film festival.”
Dillon boasts an impressive filmography that takes in a string of Hollywood blockbusters, such as ‘Something About Mary’ and ‘Wild Things’, as well as critically acclaimed independent films such as ‘Crash’, which won him an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
He has also been recognized for his narration of Jack Kerouac's ‘On the Road’, earning a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. In 2015, he starred in the first season of the Fox television series ‘Wayward Pines’, which was nominated for a Saturn Award.
A Cinema Village will also be at the CIFF from June 2 to 4 hosting film screenings, industry panels, and vendor booths showcasing the latest products and technology in the film industry.
Festival highlights include a celebration of the unique documentaries of French film director and novelist, Pierre Schoendoerffer to honor Cambodia's 70th anniversary of Independence. Schoendoerffer was a multi-talented artist and war veteran, who excelled as a French film director, screenwriter, writer, war reporter, and war cameraman.
His success in France includes his 1977 three-time César Award-winning ‘Drummer Crab’ and his Cannes Film Festival Best Screenplay-winning film ‘The 317th Platoon’, which was filmed in Cambodia. He returned to Cambodia to film his 1967 Oscar-winning war documentary, ‘The Anderson Platoon’, which earned numerous awards.
The archives of the 40th anniversary of the independence of Cambodia, produced by Rene Schmitt, will also be screened along with Rithy Panh’s ‘France Is Our Mother Country’.
This year’s CIFF will also pay special homage to Huoy Keng with a highlight of some of his surviving films, including ‘The Snake Girl’, ‘The Snake Girl Drops In’, ‘The Crocodile Men’ and ‘Princess Champa Thong’.
Huoy Keng is a renowned filmmaker who directed many films under the Sovankiri film production alongside famous actress Dy Saveth during the 1960s and 1970s in the Golden Age of Khmer cinema.
Sovankiri is the only Cambodian film studio to produce more than 20 films in traditional and modern styles. Keng is known for his unique approach of using beasts as the subject of his films, which have gained immense popularity among the public.