Cambodia

Sunrise in My Mind

(Tngaireah knong chet)

Through an expertly pitched blend of realistic fiction, Sunrise in My Mind shows a view of a beauty salon in Phnom Penh at night which sparkles like a jewel box. The patterned aquamarine wallpaper plays off of the many pink objects inside, including the shirt of the film’s protagonist Pich, a beautician whose mind is clearly elsewhere. Against the strains of a soul song from the early 1970s by Pan Ron, the co-workers’ conversation moves toward the guy who has a crush on Pich, to which she acts demure and with indifference (but also with a private smile to herself). But Lay, a deliveryman who rides a motorbike through the city at night, reliably shows up to the salon. After asking Pich to wash his hair, we witness a moment of intimacy, though it’s unclear whether this is real or imagined.

Director

Country

Run Time

14 mins

Turn Left, Turn Right

(បត់ឆ្វេងបត់ស្តាំ)

Turn Left, Turn Right is a narrative feature following Kanitha (played by artist/filmmaker Kanitha Tith), a free-spirited young woman in Phnom Penh who doesn’t conform to society’s (and her mother’s) expectations. Easily prone to daydreams, Kanitha floats by working at a rock club and at a hotel, riding her motorbike across the city and generally being restless, unsettled and at times self-sabotaging. But this lifestyle is increasingly out of step not only with her mother’s demands, but also with her father’s deteriorating health. When she needs to step in and care for him, engaging with dreams might provide a potential solution to his suffering.

Director

Run Time

68 mins

A Scale Boy

(មេងជញ្ជីង)

Kavich Neang’s first film is a short documentary following Sory Chan, a 14-year-old boy who is living in Phnom Penh apart from his family. A student of Cambodian classical music, Sory lives with his mother’s friend after his mother fled a debt she couldn’t afford to pay back. Each evening after class, he carries a scale outside in a popular part of the city and asks people to weigh themselves for a small amount of money. In this urgent film, we witness Sory’s day in class, his nightly routine and a particularly difficult conversation with his mother who he meets on the street.

Director

Country

Run Time

16 mins

A Scale Boy

(មេងជញ្ជីង)

Kavich Neang’s first film is a short documentary following Sory Chan, a 14-year-old boy who is living in Phnom Penh apart from his family. A student of Cambodian classical music, Sory lives with his mother’s friend after his mother fled a debt she couldn’t afford to pay back. Each evening after class, he carries a scale outside in a popular part of the city and asks people to weigh themselves for a small amount of money. In this urgent film, we witness Sory’s day in class, his nightly routine and a particularly difficult conversation with his mother who he meets on the street.

Director

Country

Run Time

16 mins

Cambodia 2099 is a fictional short by Davy Chou which, on the face of it, consists of three characters whose interactions drive the film’s action. Sotha (artist Sotha Kun) and Kavich (Anti-Archive filmmaker Kavich Neang) meet on a sunny day in Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island to discuss their dreams from the night before. Kavich’s girlfriend Vanary (first-time actress Sothea Vann) comes to meet him and they spend the evening together in which a difficult conversation needs to be had. The film’s climax comes as Sotha re-enacts his dream, transporting to the future out of thin air in front of a crowd assembled on motorbikes.

Director

Countries

Run Time

21 mins

Kanitha Tith’s 2014 artist film Boding is an evocative portrait of Phnom Penh’s White Building, Cambodia’s first public housing project built for moderate-income residents during the early 1960s. Originally consisting of 468 apartments, the White Building (like the whole city that surrounds it) was abandoned during the Khmer Rouge regime rule in the 1970s. After their fall in 1979, the building fell into disrepair but was still a home for its original residents, artists, community educators and others who built a vibrant community there. Tith’s film is a patient walkthrough of the “boding” (as it is popularly called by locals) that allows the viewer an unhurried look at its corridors, surfaces and the manifestations of life inside and around it.

Director

Country

Run Time

9 mins

Sreylin Meas’ first film follows a simple scenario in creating a stunning work of loneliness and connection shot at an oceanfront resort. Sarita travels to the seaside to take a break from her hectic life and family obligations. While exploring the surrounding wilderness, she meets another woman, Sak, who works at the hotel where she is staying. Also in need of respite from her busy job, Sak invites Sarita to meet in a secret place where the two discover an unforeseen connection that allows them to temporarily escape from reality.

Director

Country

Run Time

16 mins

Sunrise in My Mind

(Tngaireah knong chet)

Through an expertly pitched blend of realistic fiction, Sunrise in My Mind shows a view of a beauty salon in Phnom Penh at night which sparkles like a jewel box. The patterned aquamarine wallpaper plays off of the many pink objects inside, including the shirt of the film’s protagonist Pich, a beautician whose mind is clearly elsewhere. Against the strains of a soul song from the early 1970s by Pan Ron, the co-workers’ conversation moves toward the guy who has a crush on Pich, to which she acts demure and with indifference (but also with a private smile to herself). But Lay, a deliveryman who rides a motorbike through the city at night, reliably shows up to the salon. After asking Pich to wash his hair, we witness a moment of intimacy, though it’s unclear whether this is real or imagined.

Director

Country

Run Time

14 mins

Kanitha Tith’s 2014 artist film Boding is an evocative portrait of Phnom Penh’s White Building, Cambodia’s first public housing project built for moderate-income residents during the early 1960s. Originally consisting of 468 apartments, the White Building (like the whole city that surrounds it) was abandoned during the Khmer Rouge regime rule in the 1970s. After their fall in 1979, the building fell into disrepair but was still a home for its original residents, artists, community educators and others who built a vibrant community there. Tith’s film is a patient walkthrough of the “boding” (as it is popularly called by locals) that allows the viewer an unhurried look at its corridors, surfaces and the manifestations of life inside and around it.

Director

Country

Run Time

9 mins

Sreylin Meas’ first film follows a simple scenario in creating a stunning work of loneliness and connection shot at an oceanfront resort. Sarita travels to the seaside to take a break from her hectic life and family obligations. While exploring the surrounding wilderness, she meets another woman, Sak, who works at the hotel where she is staying. Also in need of respite from her busy job, Sak invites Sarita to meet in a secret place where the two discover an unforeseen connection that allows them to temporarily escape from reality.

Director

Country

Run Time

16 mins