Oscars: Cambodia Selects 'The Last Reel' for Foreign-Language Category

The Last Reel
Courtesy of Singapore International Film Festival

It has won awards at the Tokyo and Udine film festivals and is one of the first Cambodian films directed by a woman.

Cambodia has chosen The Last Reel by Sotho Kulikar as its official submission for the best foreign-language film race at the 88th Academy Awards.

One of the first features directed by a woman in Cambodia, The Last Reel tells the story of a forgotten film discovered beneath the Killing Fields, revealing different versions of the truth. In an abandoned cinema, a rebellious teenager named Sophoun discovers an old film starring her mother, offering her the chance to dictate her own destiny, but at the cost of uncovering some dark secrets about her parents’ lives during the Khmer Rouge regime.

The film was written by Ian Masters of the U.K. and shot on location in Cambodia in 2013.

It debuted at the 2014 Tokyo International Film Festival, where it won The Spirit of Asia Award from the Japan Foundation Asia Centre. Kulikar also won the Black Dragon Audience Award at this year's Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy.

In 2013, Cambodia submitted Rithy Panh's The Missing Picture, which became the first Cambodian film to make the Academy's final cut of five films competing for the foreign-language Oscar. The country did not submit a title to the Oscars last year.

The Last Reel is currently on release in cinemas across Cambodia.