30.10.2012 -

UNESCO Celebrates World Day for Audiovisual Heritage with Young Filmmakers on Stage

@UNESCO /Jamie Lee - Students gather around to watch a vintage film at the Bophana Center

On October 27th 2012, UNESCO, in close cooperation with the Bophana Center, celebrates the World Audiovisual Heritage Day under the theme of “Young Filmmakers on Stage,” with the aim of reminding people of the importance of audiovisual heritage.

This year, Bophana Center and UNESCO have called for an open submission of independent films made by young amateur filmmakers of Cambodia. Through the month of October, the Bophana Center held screenings of all submitted short films addressing a wide spectrum of issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking, social media and love. On the 27th October, after the screening of the films, the Cambodian Film Commission (CFC) and the directors of the seven selected films held a lively discussion session about their inspiration to make their films and the difficulties that they faced producing them with limited resources.

In the twenty-first century, audiovisual records such as movies, music, cinema, photography, and painting have become the primary registers of our values, visions, and information. In 10 to 15 years, however, a majority of these audiovisual materials will be lost for good if we do not transfer them onto digital records.  There is an urgency to safeguard the world’s audiovisual heritage in order to preserve our collective memory and to ensure its transmission to the future generations. Cambodia’s rich audiovisual heritage has an important role in promoting mutual understanding and tolerance, opening up communication channels and building peace. Such heritage is also a profound source of inspiration and creativity, and an important point of reference for the younger generation. 

Under the Memory of the World programme, UNESCO Phnom Penh has worked in close cooperation with the Royal Government of Cambodia to inscribe the archives of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum on the international heritage list in 2009. Last year, UNESCO nominated Takrut’s Reamker, an oral storytelling tradition, for the same register. UNESCO aims to contribute to the revitalization and transmission of Cambodian arts in all forms, and inspire the young generation to remember and to create new memory.




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