Now that the issues of public performance rights and copyright for films has been well-raised (through incidents like those seen in that strange but true tale) these venue owners now attempt to disguise their core pirate operations under the guise or of some kind of an ostensible community orientation or service.
They may even use the term 'community center' or 'cultural center' in their venue descriptions; the following phrase therefore comes to mind:
Another technique on skillful display by unscrupulous foreign cinema venue owners in Phnom Penh is to create a careful 'blend' of movie titles on their calendars, intermingling some legitimate titles (those with permissions) alongside films that are outright ripped off - without even the courtesy of a single email to the filmmaker to request permission, as expressed by the following international filmmaker who learned this the hard way about his film, 'DOWNTOWN 81':
In light of the continuing unscrupulous behavior of some cinema venue owners in Cambodia, CamboFest therefore offers the following challenge to ALL cinema venue owners, foreigner or Khmer, with small or large enterprises, as a way of developing international standards in the movie industry in Cambodia:
Since 2007, CamboFest has always publicly presented a list of distributor or filmmaker contacts as part of any program that was being screened. Even with studio level titles, there has never been a single objection from the filmmaker or distributor to make these contacts publicly available.
We would typically hang them on a wall in a display area, poster style, for public review:
|Page from movie guide of 2008 edition of CamboFest: includes filmmakers contacts which allow fans to ask questions about their movies, while simultaneously allowing confirmation of CamboFest's right to screen|
Organized* cinema venue owners in Cambodia who are interested in showing their support for the development of the film industry here should also make a list of authentic contacts for the filmmakers and distributors of the movies screening at their venue available for the public to see in a visible, accessible area of their establishment.
For example, for each day's or week's program, a list of authentic (not fake, generic, or otherwise bogus) email and /or phone contacts of the filmmaker or studio can be displayed in the lobby or foyer.
The extra effort, taking only a few minutes, greatly adds value to any legitimate venue operating in Cambodia's piracy-challenged environment, by showing they are diligent about getting rights to screen films, which means they are working to enhance international standards in Cambodia. This also allows emerging local filmmakers to undertake a constructive dialogue with the filmmaker and rights holder, leading to their further education.
Potential moviegoers take note of any venue owner in Cambodia who resists this simple, free way of showing support for the developing Cambodian film industry. Educate these proprietors by insisting that they present a list of their filmmaker and studio contacts for public review - an effective way to validate the legitimacy of any venue in the current Cambodian exhibition environment.
Since 2007, out of 250 separate rights holders and filmmakers, CamboFest has never encountered a single instance where a rights holder or filmmaker refused to allow their contacts to be made available. (and they are usually thrilled to do so, understanding the need to support the development of the film industry in Cambodia)
Most film festivals around the world list their filmmaker, studio, and sales contacts, as well in a publicly available screening guide.