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MEMORY! International Film Heritage : 2nd edition review

The second edition of MEMORY! International Film Heritage Festival took place in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) from the 31st May to 8th June 2014, presenting almost 60 films from all around the world, leading figures in the film industry, prestigious Guests of Honor (French actress Catherine Deneuve and Asian filmmakers awarded in major festivals Brillante Mendoza and Anthony Chen), professional delegations from more than 20 countries, a cine-concert, conferences and meetings with international specialists of heritage films. And once again, entrance to all events during the festival was deliberately free of charge.

The festival took place under the High Patronage of His Majesty the King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihamoni.

The general audience met this cinema appointment with over 11.000 spectators, and the delegations of professionals (in particular film archives and cinematheques representatives) came three times more numerous this year, with almost 50 delegations who participated actively to conferences and workshops about cinema heritage.
In addition to those encounters, directors Brillante Mendoza and Anthony Chen, active ambassadors for film heritage cause, handled jointly a masterclass to young filmmakers of the region.

Catherine Deneuve presenting
films to MEMORY! audience
Brillante Mendoza (Philippines) Anthony Chen (Singapour)

This year’s theme was centered on “Laughter”, and more specifically different types of laughter, as comedy is different in each country, each culture and each era. The festival opened with Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus to celebrate the hundredth birthday of the most famous Chaplin’s character, the Tramp. It was also the perfect opportunity to celebrate other kings of comedy famous in their native countries such as Mat Sentul (Singapore), George Wallace (Australia), Kenichi Enomoto (Japan), Dolphy (Philippines).

The MEMORY festival was co-founded and organized by two non profit entitiesTechnicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage and MEMORY Cinema Association, in close liaison with Bophana Center and filmmaker Rithy Panh.

MEMORY! – the first festival of its kind in Asia - was created in 2013, following on from the very few existing festivals in the world like Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Lumière in Lyon or MoMA Film Preservation Festival in New York.
The aim is to establish an annual event dedicated to film heritage in Asia, symbolically based in Cambodia, a country that has lost its entire film heritage.
The festival is largely intended for the general audience in Cambodia, but it is also clearly aimed at film professionals working worldwide in heritage cinema.
The particularity of the festival’s programming was to combine major classics and works which are rarely screened, including in their own countries, and many have never adventured out of their native land.
MEMORY! International Film Heritage is a non profit event.


The festival was supported by four Cambodian ministries (Culture and Fine Arts, Information, Tourism and Education), the Institut français, CNC (French National Film Commission), Cambodia Film Commission, UNESCO, FIAF (International Federation of Film Archive), France 24 and RFI, TV5 Monde, and also Cambodia Airport.

KEY FACTS & FIGURES – Second edition of MEMORY!

- Almost 60 classic movies from all around the world presented for 9 days,

- Participation of three artists to present the cinema from the past: French actress Catherine Deneuve and filmmakers Brillante Mendoza (Philippines) and Anthony Chen (Singapore)

- Film industry and film archive delegations from over 20 countries attended conferences and workshops about film heritage stakes

- The general audience was there with more than 11.000 spectators

- Celebration of Charlie Chaplin during the opening for the 100th birthday of his famous character, the Tramp,

- Tribute to the Russian cinema during the Closing Ceremony with a cine-concert led by the well-known Cambodian compositor Him Sophy