Thursday, December 4, 2008
What nice people the Aussies are. Not only did they invite me to the opening gala for their first-ever Phnom Penh-based Australian Film Festival that began today but Australian Embassy First Secretary Fiona Cochaud who introduced the festival, was positively glowing about my blog. After drinks and snacks at ACE, and an appearance by Veng Sereyvuth, the Cambodian Senior Minister, we decamped to the Lux Cinema on Norodom Boulevard to watch the premiere showing of Lucky Miles, a comedy set in the remote and wild northern reaches of Australia where a group of asylum seekers are abandoned by smugglers and forced to journey into the unknown. The film has an opening sequence set in Phnom Penh in 1972 and its unlikely hero is Arun, a Cambodian who is determined to find his Aussie father in Perth. It's a pleasant film, not earth-shattering by any means but the photography was great, the landscape out of this world and the audience enjoyed it and so did I. The festival will feature 7 films over the next four days, all at Lux and all free to enter. I've been tipped the wink that 10 Canoes and The Dish are also well worth watching. When I told Fiona that The Red Sense - another Aussie film made by a Khmer director Tim Pek - will be part of the forthcoming CamboFest in Siem Reap, she was very pleased that another Aussie-Khmer collaboration will be getting its cinematic debut in Cambodia soon.