Cambodia beckons Indian film makers with beautiful locales, low costs

Hong Kong, March 15: Virgin mountains, lush green rice fields, accessible jungle, green rolling hills, waterscapes, the world famed Angkor Wat temple, low-cost skilled movie workforce and fast permissions are on offer in Cambodia for Indian movie makers, said a top official of Cambodia Film Commission. "Every year around 50-60 movie projects come to Cambodia. Most of them are from Europe, the US and Asia. Indian movie industry is very big and we would like to attract film makers to shoot here," Cedric Eloy, CEO, Cambodia Film Commission, told IANS here on Monday. The Cambodia Film Commission for the first time is participating in the annual Asia's largest movie market FILMART organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council for the past 20 years. According to Eloy, everything is possible in Cambodia and the country is also ideal for shooting TV's adventure game shows. When cited competing shooting locations Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and others, Eloy said the costs for the film producer will be higher there as compared to Cambodia. He said in terms of cost, Cambodia works out cheaper as compared to filming in other countries. Further, the natural location - jungles, hills, beaches, rivers, rice fields - have not been explored much, Eloy said. He said the crew has gained experience working with the foreign film units and can speak in English. On the government side, Eloy said there will not be any import duties on the equipments, and permissions are granted fast. According to him, the colonial buildings offer filmmakers to shoot their period films. Eloy said foreign crews can work in the country without any required paperwork, and local labour regulation offer the flexibility that film production needs. Talking about the Cambodian movie industry, he said there are around 15 screens and the number of movies produced are also small.