Cambodia Television and Movie Industry Primed for Growth

Cambodia’s television and movie industry received a boost in August through a $2 million grant from France’s development agency.

The grant will further develop the Cambodia Film Commission (CFC), a non-profit organisation dedicated to film professionals, and support the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in creating a professional organisation that gathers all actors in the sector.

Created in 2009 with support from the Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, the CFC has helped develop the country’s film industry by assisting foreign filmmakers to shoot in the country, as well as building local filmmakers’ skills through professional training programmes.

The CFC has placed Cambodia on the map as a host country for international shootings, with French director Regis Wargnier’s adaptation of François Bizot’s novel, The Gate, shot in Battambang at the beginning of 2014, as well as reality television shows.

To date, it boasts supporting 158 shooting projects and training 290 local technicians, with economic spinoffs from its activities estimated at over $20 million. It is also positioned to benefit from a 2013 co-production agreement between France and Cambodia to promote the Kingdom’s draw for European movie productions.

The French Agency for Development grant, signed on Aug. 28 with the Cambodia Ministry of Economy and Finance and the French Embassy in Cambodia, follows a previous grant that saw the creation of the CFC. The support will allow the CFC to extend its work in the region, with a focus on an increased partnership with Laos.

Under a separate $350,000 grant, France also supports the Bophana Center to preserve the audiovisual heritage of Cambodia through training sessions and by promoting professionals.