The Cambodian-French filmmaker director Rithy Panh has been awarded the prize for emerging directors at the Cannes Film Festival for his latest documentary linked to the atrocities and genocide of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.
“L’Image Manquante” – “The Missing Picture” – was awarded the prize in the “Un certain regard” category. Praised by the Hollywood Reporter as “a harrowing vision of a living hell”, the film considers Panh’s own lost relatives, mixing archive footage and using marionettes as the director tries to recreate the images from his childhood.
“It’s the first time Cambodia has a prize at Cannes,” Rithy Panh said.
The director went on to dedicate the prize to fellow filmmaker Jafar Panahi who is under house arrest in Iran.
“I think that Jafar Panahi has struggled a lot for this freedom, just to speak, to make, create things. You can consign someone to their home, prevent them from working, but you can’t steal his imagination and his thoughts,” he said.