Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh to receive peace award at Iranian film festival

Rithy Panh, photographed at the Bophana Center last year.
Rithy Panh, photographed at the Bophana Center last year. Eliah Lillis

Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh to receive peace award at Iranian film festival

The Fajr International Film Festival in Iran has announced it will honour Cambodian director Rithy Panh’s long cinematic career and focus on humanitarian issues in film with the Fajr Peace Award.

Panh, 53, has made over a dozen films over his three decade career and most recently co-produced Angelina Jolie’s Netflix adaptation of First They Killed My Father, telling the true story of a young girl under the Khmer Rouge.

“The Fajr Peace Award aims to raise awareness for the social relevance of films, and to make active use of the influence of movies and documentaries on the perception and resolution of global social, political and humanitarian challenges,” a festival statement reads.

A survivor of the Pol Pot regime, Panh was a refugee in Thailand before making his way to Paris, where he studied cinema. Much of Panh’s work is informed by his own experiences under the Khmer Rouge, such as his 2016 feature Exile and his 2013 documentary The Missing Picture, which won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard category.

Panh did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The 36th Fajr International Film Festival will be held in Tehran from April 19 to 27.

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