Copyright 2004

[ November 22nd 2004 ]

After a decade of silence, Cambodia's movie industry is enjoying a boom due to a dash of Hollywood attention, burgeoning nationalism and cheaper production costs, industry insiders say. Despite a complete lack of film or acting schools, Cambodian movie-makers last year shot 30 digital films. Some were of questionable quality but all had full cinema releases, compared to just one from 1996 to 2002.

Hollywood bombshell Angelina Jolie's 2001 hit 'Tomb Raider', which starred the famed Angkor Wat temple complex as its backdrop, first stirred interest among Cambodians in the potential of movies set here, film department director Kuong Kantara said. "Cambodia started to see its gift of nature and cultural buildings as an excellent backdrop for movie production," he said. As a result, the local industry is booming, even at the expense of foreign films. "People have stopped watching foreign movies. Those cinemas who dare show them face falling profits," Phnom Penh cinema owner Yun Mean said.

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