The producer of a documentary banned by the Cambodian government is meeting with foreign sales agents and festival chiefs in a bid to give the film the widest possible exposure.

Rich Garella remained defiant after it emerged this week that Prime Minster Hun Sen declared Who Killed Chea Vichea? an illegal import. Bradley Cox’s documentary investigates the 2004 assassination of labour leader Vichea.

“We’re going to do what we can to get it shown in as many places and festivals as possible,” Garella said. “This is a human rights issue. People should have access to freedom of information.”

Garella said he expected the film to perform strongly in France, Australia and Japan, all of which have historical ties to Cambodia.

“The more traction it gets in the rest of the world, the harder it will be for the government to keep the Cambodian people from seeing it,” Garella said.

US markets such as Long beach, Philadelphia and Washington DC contain sizeable Cambodian populations and to this end Garella and the film-makers are submitting to festivals and hoping for a domestic broadcast deal.

Who Killed Chea Vichea? received its European premiere at the Cannes Independent Film Festival last month and has been hailed by Amnesty International as one of the human rights advocacy group’s Top Ten Movies That Matter.

Who Killed Chea Vichea?is a co-production by Loud Mouth Films and Independent Television Service.