After plans to screen a documentary about slain environmental activist Chut Wutty at Phnom Penh’s Meta House were canceled at the behest of the Ministry of Culture last week, a ministry official said over the weekend that the film could not be publicly screened anywhere in the country.
Sin Chan Saya, director of the Culture Ministry’s department of cinema and cultural diffusion, said the filmmaker—together with any theater owner who screens the film “I Am Chut Wutty”—would be in violation of the law.
“For clarification, I am stressing that the documentary titled ‘I am Chut Wutty’ had not yet received any permission for shooting, as well as visa for screenings, from Cambodian authorities before its releasing in the public,” Mr. Saya said in an email.
Mr. Saya said the filmmaker, Fran Lambrick, had never received permission to film the documentary in Cambodia in the first place.
“According to the law, the filmmaker has to apply for obtaining permission for film shooting; so, if there is no shooting permission, also no visa for screening as well,” he said.
In December 2014, the film premiered at a packed Meta House.
Ms. Lambrick could not be reached for comment on Sunday, but according to the “I Am Chut Wutty” Facebook page, the film was screened again in Phnom Penh on Saturday at an undisclosed location.
“Thank you to everyone who came to the private screening on Sunday in Phnom Penh! First showing since the ban and there will be many more,” the post said, adding that anyone who would like to host their own private screening should get in touch.
The Flicks, a chain of movie houses in Phnom Penh, also said in a post to Facebook that they would screen the film on Tuesday—the fourth anniversary of Mr. Wutty’s death—but did not disclose the address for the “private screening.” The Flicks could not be reached for further comment.
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