A Chinese film crew was in Cambodia earlier this month to begin filming the drama series Love Is Brave. The series is designed to help promote the country's tourism destinations and culture to the Chinese people.
Huang Haibo (left) and Zhang Jingchu will play a couple in the TV series Love is Brave, which has started filming in Cambodia.
Cambodian officials and tourism experts voiced their support for the project, saying it was not only important to attract more Chinese tourists to the Southeast Asian nation, but will also help to boost cultural ties between the two countries.
"The film will greatly promote Cambodia's tourism sites to the Chinese people, "says Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, which represents 220 tour and travel companies. "More importantly, it will help to strengthen cultural ties and people-to-people relations between the two nations."
Ho Vandy, president of World Express Tours and Travel, says the drama series will be a driving force to attract more Chinese tourists to Cambodia.
"When Chinese people see their famous movie stars at Cambodia's tourism sites, they may want to see the beauty of Cambodia with their own eyes," he says. "So, I believe that Cambodia's tourism will greatly benefit from this Chinese drama series."
Love Is Brave revolves around a touching love story between a couple played by renowned Chinese actor Huang Haibo and actress Zhang Jingchu.
The 30-episode drama is being produced by Beijing Jinyi Celebration Cultural Promotion Company and is directed by Beijing's renowned direct-or Cao Dun.
The production house selected Cambodia as the backdrop to scenes when the couple fall in love.
Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister Sok An says the drama series will be shot at the ancient Angkor Wattemple, a World Heritage Site.
"This project clearly shows Cambodia's favorable conditions for international film productions," he says. "The film will help further strengthen cultural ties between Cambodia and China."
The drama series will be screened by Hunan TV, a very popular TV channel with full coverage in China.
"I believe that through this film, more and more Chinese will visit Cambodia," he says.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon says 100 cast and crew will spend one month filming in Cambodia. The rest of the production will be filmed in Beijing.
"The series will help promote Cam-bodia's tourism destinations to the Chinese market," he says, adding that the film would also be shot at some tourism sites in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
According to Thong Khon, China is the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia. Last year, some 463,000 Chinese visited Cambodia, up 39 percent year-on-year.
"Cambodia is expected to greet 800,000 Chinese visitors in 2015 and up to 2 million in 2020," he says.
Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Bu Jianguo says it was a milestone for cultural relations and cooperation between China and Cambodia.
"Through the drama series, Chinese will better understand Cambodian culture and daily life," she says. "I have confidence that more Chinese people will visit Cambodia after they watch this TV series."
Yuan Hui, chairwoman of Beijing Jinyi Celebration Cultural Promotion Company, says the film will provide a golden opportunity for Cambodia to showcase its traditions, customs and beautiful landscape to more than 1 billion people in China and other Asian countries.
The film project was initiated by the ASEAN-China Center.