Tuesday, December 8, 2009

:: Stills, Video, and Other Content from CAMBOFEST 2009 ::

(The 'CamboFest Story' can be found
Here on the Camerado Blog)

CamboFest pre-show intro video (above) which also
thanks all our sponsors and supporters
- see video

CamboFest was held this year (our 3rd), in the vintage 'Royal' cinema house in Kampot, Cambodia, a pre-Khmer Rouge era Cambodian cinema hall which we brought back to life especially for CamboFest 2009. Not even longtime local foreigners living in Kampot realized that the 'Royal' had once been a cinema house; CamboFest staff stumbled upon it by accident while scouting another vintage venue nearby.

Listen to BBC Radio discussing this year's CAMBOFEST and the Cambodian Cinema industry today

Hi-Rez stills and video of CAMBOFEST 2009 available at

Scores have been tabulated for winners of Grabay Meas ('Golden Buffalo') awards

Stills in the series below by top Phnom Penh photographer,

Simon Toffanello of Monsoon Pictures

To cross-reference movie stills against schedule and description, pls see the PDF of schedule and lineup here (pls note that schedule changed at the end of the last day due to technical reasons regarding "All that She Wants', with 'Hill City' and 'SlipDream' filling in)

From 'Slipdream', a CamboFest 2007 favorite, which played as a "Best of CamboFest" selection (screening out of competition due to schedule change)

From 'Hill City' screening as a short before 'SlipDream'

(also screening out of competition due to last minute schedule change)

Filmmaker John Trinh ('Agent Orange: 30 Years later'), in town for his screening at CamboFest

From 'Death in Charge'

From 'Schritt fur Schritt'

From 'Sky in December'

From 'Survive'

Staffer Narith Hoo engaging in Cambodian-style promotion: with leaflets and loudspeaker (see 'Behind the Scenes' video, elsewhere on this blog, to watch him in action)

Tomas, editor of 'Schritt for Schritt' (left) delivering a package of info regarding short German films to CamboFest founder Jason Rosette (right)

(End of Monsoon Pictures Series; this has been a selection, there are several additional stills of each screening taken by top Phnom Penh photographer, Simon Toffanello- pls contact info@cambofest.com for hi-rez stills and other uses)

Additional stills and behind the scenes coverage from CAMBOFEST staff and volunteers:

(...contrary to some local rumors which were flying around, we obtained all permissions well in advance from various local Sangkat offices and the Kampot authorities - above)

Take a look behind the scenes at CAMBOFEST 2009 (video, above)

Visiting UK/Taiwan based filmmaker Leigh Rodgers ("In Transit") talks about his film and his experiences at CamboFest 2009

Filmmaker Ilya Batuev ('Guided by Spirit') en route with us from Phnom Penh to Kampot

Climbing the rafters of the old 'Royal' cinema to set up the screen

Setting up the screen, custom made to fit the 'Royal' (but suitable for other venues - contact CamboFest at info@cambofest.com for local rental inquiries) - lack of rental houses and equipment infrastructure makes improvisation an essential part of CamboFest

Ambient light situation due to 'Royal's' damaged roof necessitated the use of this 7000 + lumen projector, courtesy the US Embassy in Phnom Penh.

Testing the gear with a live audience...

Suong Sambath (left) and Mr. Tol (right) - essential staff who learned on the job in current and previous editions of CamboFest

Mr. Tol sets up an info booth at a nearby Guesthouse...

CamboFest 2007 Grabay Meas award winner, Harri Anenden, (' The Cathedral') in town
all the way from Mauritius

Hanging out at a Cambodian roast-beef restaurant after the show -
visiting filmmaker James Speck is at the left

Celebrating a successful launch of year 3 of CAMBOFEST, Cambodia's only currently functioning annual international movie festival. Note the use of radios, which allowed us to bypass interference caused by 3rd party foreign pranksters. The presumed intention was to tie up our phone lines via fake classified ads placed in local web forums, etc.

Taking a break in between films...

Typical evening audience at Cambofest 2009, sitting on ubiquitous Cambodian-style plastic chairs. Daytime crowds tended to be thinner due to lack of air con and other factors; attendance was also boosted in any case by a large group of Vietnamese university students, visiting from Raffles International college in Ho Chi Minh city (showing up in their army of Tuk Tuks especially for CamboFest)

From 'The Playground'

Unsure of this one...

Filmmaker Leigh Rodgers, visiting from the UK especially for CamboFest 2009, introduces his extremely likeable movie, "In Transit". (See a video with Leigh earlier in this blog)

From 'Netherworld', which drew nearly all curious Cambodian viewers

Various onesheets and support materials sent in by filmmakers...

From 'Sky in December'

Cambodian animator Chuunly Poy, winner of the Grabay Meas award in the 2007 edition of CamboFest, at local roast beef restaurant after the show.

These guests had started travelling in Mongolia, and were only planning to be in Cambodia a few days - but they still stuck around for most of CamboFest! Apparently Narith had gotten to them with his megaphone moto.

Tomas (editor of 'Schritt fur Schritt), left, visiting from Germany to rep his film; Cambodian animator Panith Norm and CamboFest staffer Narith Hoo next to him.

Monsoon Pictures photographer Simon Toffanello and his gal Mum, down from Phnom Penh for the weekend to catch some flicks (and shoot some stills) at CamboFest 2009.

Mr. Tol takes a well-earned nap between shows

Visiting feline creeps across the rafters of the old 'Royal' cinema, and below

From 'Neil Reinu'

From 'Revenge of the Nail'

From 'Milking the Rhino'

Volunteers David (in green), and Koala (in doorway), materialized from nowhere to help throughout the fest

Illya Batuev and local Kampot movie fan after the show

Panith Norm, left, CamboFest's Jason Rosette (center), and Leigh Rodgers (right)

From 'Lumia'; lack of aircon on this day in particular had some impact on the first session show, but diehard fans still came to watch this very unique doc.

Visiting filmmaker John Trinh (left) and CamboFest's J Rosette at a great breakfast and lunch hangout, the "year 2000 restaurant*" (* real name unknown)

Legendary Cambodian filmmaker Yvon Hem's 'Shadow of Darkness brought in a great crossover audience of local Khmer and foreigners; although we charged an admission fee per session, we made things as affordable as we could. Local women seated in the back paid in banannas (which came in handy for busy staff)

From 'Shadow of Darkness'; a quick phone call with the filmmaker before the screening welcomed all guests to this one-of-a-kind movie, one of the first features to be made in Cambodia following the Pol Pot regime.

From 'Survive', filmmaker Roshane Saidnatter's compelling documentary - and the first Cambodian film to be nominated for a 'Best of' award at the annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (see www.asiapacificscreenawards.com) ; movie was submitted by CamboFest as an organization repping Cambodia with the APSA.

Panith Norm's 'Mosquito in Dreaming' , below

From "Netherworld'

From 'Up and About Again' - the snow-covered car mesmerized local Cambodian viewers

'Massacrator' evoked responses of all kinds...

From 'Urban Knots'

From 'Transylvania Timber'

Filmmaker Roshane Saidnatter, visiting from France for the Cambodian premiere of her striking docu, 'Surviveand , with CamboFest's Jason Rosette

Filmmakers Leigh Rodgers, visiting from Taiwan, and John Trinh on the right, visiting from the USA

S. Korean punk flick, 'Bangham Staion' plays before a welcoming audience - movie was well received, scoring well with the audience during our surveys to determine winners of the Grabay Meas ("Golden Buffalo")

Filmmaker John Trinh (left), Mr. Tol, two moviegoers from South Africa, and filmmaker Ilya Batuev

Update: we're optioning the CamboFest story to a New York City, USA, based publisher about our experiences putting together a film festival out here in the Cambodian context. No title yet, but will include everything: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the whole 3-year adventure in detail. Look out for all the juiciest (and sometimes controversial) bits which took place behind the scenes during the course of this season's CamboFest...

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the blog and feel free to email us at info@cambofest.com with any inquiries.

All the Best,