Thursday, November 19, 2009

*** CAMBOFEST 2009 Lineup and *Royal* Cinema Hall ***

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CAMBOFEST: Film and Video Festival of Cambodia 2009 >>Lineup Announcement & a vintage Cambodian cinema house comes back to life for this year's fest!

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CAMBOFEST: Film and Video Festival of Cambodia – Cambodia’s international, independent film festival, enters its 3rd season with a lineup of great new movies from around the world (including Cambodia!)

Click here for the current lineup; schedules, maps, and other info TBA:

Movies this year are slated to screen in the colonial coastal & riverside town of Kampot, Cambodia at the vintage *Royal Cinema*.

Complete schedule and other information to be posted soon @



CamboFest staff stumbled upon the Royal while scouting for other pre-Khmer Rouge cinema halls in Kampot for this year’s festival. Built in the 1950’s, the Royal experienced its heyday in the mid 60’s before being shut down as a result of civil war and conflict, which culminated in Cambodia’s takeover by the Khmer Rouge regime.

The Royal with current proprietor, in Kampot, Cambodia (c) CamboFest

During the conflict, the Royal had its roof and a wall blown out, and it remained sadly dormant as an active movie hall.

The Khmer Rouge era was brought to a halt by a military intervention from neighboring Vietnam in 1978, who occupied the country until the late 80’s.

In 1985, the Royal sputtered to life again, offering a fare of Indian, Chinese, and Cambodian movies screened from video cassette.

As stability and prosperity increased, however, many residents found the means to purchase VHS players and TV sets, and attendance at the Royal gradually dwindled until 1988 - when the theater was once again shuttered.

Until now...until CamboFest 2009!

While the Royal is still in rough shape (it won’t be what you'd find at Cannes), it will be one of the most unique cinema environments you might find anywhere. We invite you to participate in the rebirth of a Cambodian cinema house from the ashes of its former self.


*** PLEASE help us to make this year’s event at the Royal a key moment in the Asian cinema experience! ***

CAMBOFEST is not a well-financed film society - we're just a bunch of grass-roots film lovers in Cambodia who teach on the side while producing CamboFest, Cambodia's only functioning international movie festival. While we do aim to grow the festival in the coming years, and we did conduct a fundraiser earlier this year, we’re operating under extremely challenging conditions in a developing country which still has a very minimal cinema infrastructure.

We are therefore still very much budget-challenged and could use any assistance - in-kind or otherwise - even at this late hour.

Besides the ever-useful cash contribution* to help us, for instance, pay for accommodations for visiting filmmakers we also need to upgrade our AV gear.

[ *Contributions can be made tax-deductibly for US taxpayers through our fiscal sponsor, Media Alliance @

...or via our secured gateway @ ]

As mentioned, the roof of the Royal still has a few holes from the Khmer Rouge era, from (letting in ambient light) and in order to properly utilize the space we would like to upgrade to a 3500+ lumens, high contrast projector and a higher performance, more reflectant screen surface.

If anyone would like to sponsor these items, on loan or as a gift, you can help make a visible and significant difference in this historic revival of the Royal cinema at CamboFest.

Anyway, here’s the lineup for CAMBOFEST 2009 (subject to changes of course)

Thanks to anyone who wants to be a part of augmenting this unique cinematic experience – drop us a line at with any sponsorship ideas, or travel and festival inquiries.

Sok Sabai!

The CFEST Team

CAMBOFEST: Film and Video Festival of Cambodia

PO Box 707

12000 Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Attn: J Rosette & Mr. Phun Sokuunthearith

Mobile # 855 011 736 206

CAMBOFEST is a grass roots, private sector initiative, produced by Camerado (; 501 (c) 3 Fiscal sponsorship provided by Media Alliance -@