Filmmaker Rithy Panh
Life under the Khmer Rouge and the legacy of that regime are the major themes of the films of Rithy Panh (Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 1964).
After his family were forced from Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and then died in a refugee camp, Panh fled to Thailand in 1979. He then ended up in Paris, where he became interested in film, going on to graduate from film school there. Panh made his debut in 1989 with Site 2, and in the years that followed made a range of documentaries about life in Cambodia, eventually also returning to the country of his birth. Since then, he has been a key figure in the documentary industry in Cambodia, and not only because of internationally recognised films such as S21, The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003) and Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell (2011). Panh is also the founder and director of the Bophana: Audiovisual Resource Center in Cambodia, which aims to preserve the history of Cambodian film and photography. Alongside directing, Panh has also produced films. IDFA dedicated a retrospective to his work in 2013 and presented his Top 10 at the festival; Panh also gave a masterclass.