|Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni presides over the opening ceremony of the 2nd International Film Heritage Festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 31, 2014. The 2nd International Film Heritage Festival opened here Saturday, with an aim to promote and preserve classic films around the world. (Xinhua/Sovannara)
PHNOM PENH, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The 2nd International Film Heritage Festival opened here Saturday, with an aim to promote and preserve classic films around the world.
Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the opening ceremony that attracted some 800 national and international guests, including Oscar-nominated French actress Catherine Deneuve, Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza and Singaporean film producer Anthony Chen.
A total of 50 classic films screened before the early 1980s by filmmakers from more than 20 countries will be shown during the nine-day event.
"The particularity of the festival's programming is to combine major classics and films which are rarely screened, including in their own countries," said Rithy Panh, an organizer of the festival.
"This year's theme was based on laughter," he added.
In a message, King Norodom Sihamoni said culture is a founding element in a country's identity, and promoting it means preserving the past, building the present, and looking towards the future.
"Hosting a festival in Phnom Penh that demonstrates the diversity of the cinematographic art of yesteryear, from both here and elsewhere, plays a part in Cambodia's attachment to the culture of tomorrow," he said.
The monarch said the festival was an opportunity to discover a universal heritage and to draw the inspiration necessary for creativity.
"The event will contribute to heightening the Cambodian film industry," he added.