Dream Land dir. Steve Chen
Cambodia, USA/2015/90 min
In this art-house mood piece by US filmmaker Steve Chen set in the developing metropolis of Phnom Penh, Lida (Lida Duch) sells real-estate developments to the growing middle and upper classes. Meanwhile, she suffers constant heartache over her deteriorating relationship with her photographer boyfriend, Sokun (Kim Hak), and decides to travel to the quiet beach town of Kep with some close friends to find peace.
Read: A focus on the present in Dream Land
Before the Fall dir. Ian White
Cambodia, Singapore, Australia/2015/98 min
A rollicking noir-thriller from Australian filmmaker Ian White set to the beat of a rock 'n' roll soundtrack from the Cambodian Space Project. In April 1975, a once-idealistic French war photographer and a thuggish nightclub owner vie for the affections of a Phnom Penh nightclub singer. Meanwhile, she just wants to find an escape for her and her brother before the city finally falls to the Khmer Rouge.
Read: Before the Fall shines in its end
Lilting dir. Hong Khaou
United Kingdom/2014/91 min
British-Cambodian filmmaker Hong Khaou’s debut is a gentle, moving story of relationships crossing generations, cultures and sexualities interspersed with comedic moments. In London, Junn, a Cambodian-Chinese mother, mourns the death of her son, Kai. She is disrupted by Richard’s arrival, who is Kai’s former lover. Even though they don’t speak the same language, they try to communicate with the help of a translator to remember the one they both loved.
Listening dir. Khalil Sullins
USA, Cambodia/2014/100 min
A psychological thriller about a team of genius grad students. David, Ryan and Jordan invent mind-reading technology but what they think is a great invention will quickly destroy their lives and threatens the future of free-will itself, as they realize there is nowhere to hide their thoughts anymore. Their adventure leads to Cambodia, where David seeks help.
Where There Is Shade dir. Nathan Nicholovitch
Follows 45-year-old French cross-dresser Mirinda who gradually discovers what it means to be a father after meeting a child named Panna in the streets of Phnom Penh.
The Cambodian Space Project: Not Easy Rock 'N' Roll dir. Marc Eberle
Cambodia, Australia/2015/75 min.
This intimate warts-and-all documentary from Mark Eberle joins Australian musician Julien Poulson and Cambodian singer Srey Thy just after they first form a band together rocking out 1960s and ‘70s golden age classics and follows them on a five-year journey to overcome adversity, trauma and obscurity.
Read: Trailing the band in new Rock 'n' Roll doco
Camp 32 dir. Andrew Blogg and Tim Purdie
Cambodia, Australia/2014/72 min.
Documentary makers Andrew Blogg and Tim Purdie follow Hom Chhorn as he makes his way from suburban Melbourne back to Cambodia to confront horrific childhood memories of the Khmer Rouge and find Camp 32, the remote site in rural where he was imprisoned 33 years before.
Factory Complex dir. Heung-Soon Im
South Korea/2014/81 min
Features the stories of working class women in the textile industry in 1960s South Korea, highlighting the repetition of the history of labour through the current conditions of workers in Cambodia.
Last of the Elephant Men dir. Daniel Ferguson and Arnaud Bouquet
France, Canada/2015/90 min
For centuries, the Bunong indigenous people of Eastern Cambodia lived with elephants, depending on them for every aspect of life. Now with the forest around them threatened, both the Bunong and the elephant face a desperate struggle to survive. The film follows three members of the tribe as they attempt to prevent the disappearance of the animal at the heart of their culture.
The Roots Remain dir. Jean-Sebastien Francoeur and Andrew Marchand-Boddy
The story of Canadian-raised graffiti artist FONKi, as he returns to his ancestral Cambodia to reunite with his family and to meet with other leaders in Cambodia’s growing hip- hop community. Utilizing Cambodian film archives and new original footage, the film chronicles the heartbreak of FONKi’s family during the genocide, and FONKi’s efforts to instill passion for street art in Cambodian youth.
One Dollar Project
A participatory web documentary founded by award-winning filmmaker Rithy Panh. The series in this project are produced by young film makers trained by Bophana Center with the support of CFC.
Cambodian Son dir. Masahiro Sugano
Cambodia, USA, UK, France/2014/85 min
Poet Kosal Khiev receives the most important performance invitation of his career - to represent the Kingdom of Cambodia at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Kosal travels to London having only taken two flights prior; first as a one-year-old refugee child whose family fled Cambodia and then as a 32-year-old criminal “alien” forcibly returned to Cambodia in 2011.
The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S Ngor dir. Arthur Dong
Chronicles the life, times and murder of actor and humanitarian Dr Haing S Ngor, a Cambodian genocide survivor who escaped to America and won an Oscar for his acting role in The Killing Fields.
Gaston Méliès and his Wandering Star Film Company Trailer dir. Raphaël Millet
In 1912-1913, Georges Méliès’s brother, Gaston, spent a month in Cambodia during a ten-month long tour around the Asia-Pacific. With his team of 15 collaborators, they shot some of the first fiction and non-fiction films shot in the Kingdom.
France Is Our Mother Country dir. Rithy Panh
France, Cambodia/2015/75 min
Rithy Panh’s latest film is the story of a failed encounter between two cultures, two sensitivities, and two realms of imagination: an encounter which resulted in colonization not exempt from brutality while it could have avoided wars, chaos and destruction. Primarily based on extracts of archive film shot mainly in Indochina in the early twentieth century until the fall of Dien Bien Phu, this film is a continuation of a cinematographic reflection about time, memory and looking.
Presented by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and supported by the Embassy of Japan, this showcase includes five feature films and a series of short animations. There’s World War 2 epic Marry Christmas Mr Lawrence; a remake of a classic in The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi; the tale of a modern and “stray” Japanese woman, Pale Moon; a desperate love story in a dreary port town, The Light Shines Only There, cutting edge animation in Pscyho-Pass and puppet animation in Exquisite Shorts of Kihachiro Kawamoto: The Living Puppet Animations.
Pale Moon dir. Daihachi Yoshida
The Light Shines Only There dir. Mipo Oh
The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi dir. Takeshi Kitano
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence dir. Nagisa Oshima
Psycho-Pass: The Movie dir. Katsuyuki Morohito and Naoyoshi Shiotani
The Journey dir. Keng Guan Chiu
Nova dir. Nik Amir Mustapha
Take Me To Dinner dir. Gavin Yap
Kil dir. Nik Amir Mustapha
French cinema is best known for intimate romance and art house films, but many of the most popular films out of France are comedies. Actors such as Louis De Funes, and directors like Gerard Dury have long been revered as masters of the genre, which is now being reinvigorated by a new generation. CIFF’s French Comedy showcase will feature funny films both old and new from classics like slapstick detective romp Knock on Wood – Francis Veber’s breakout from 1981 starring Pierre Richard and Gérard Depardieu – to 2013’s Nine-Month Stretch, an energetic and nutty comedy full of harshness and tenderness from Albert Dupontel.
OSS 117: Lost In Rio dir. Michael Hazanavicius
Babysitting 2 dir. Philippe Lacheau and Nicolas Benamou
9-Month Stretch dir. Albert Dupontel
Knock On Wood dir. Francis Veber
This program is a rare opportunity to see outstanding Asian films that were nominated or awarded at the Asian Film Awards as a special Roadshow co-presented by the Asian Film Awards Academy. Check out great films like Peter Chan’s 2011 Hong Kong action flick Dragon, Filipino filmmaker Jun Lana’s 2012 drama-comedy about the fear of growing old, Bwakaw, Anthony Chen’s family drama, ILO ILO, set in Singapore during the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and many more.
Echoes of the Rainbow dir. Alex Law
Hong Kong/2010/117 min
Beast Stalker dir. Dante Lam
Hong Kong/2008/109 min
Dragon dir. Peter Chan
Hong Kong/2011/115 min
Bwakaw dir. Jun Lana
The Lunchbox dir. Ritesh Batra
ILO ILO dir. Anthony Chen
Cart dir. Boo Ji-Young
South Korea/2014/110 min
This year’s CIFF will feature a wide range of documentaries covering subjects as diverse as the continuing legacy of genocide in Indonesia (The Look of Silence, 2014) to the experiences of Romanians living under the repressive Ceausescu regime who attended underground parties to watch bootleg Hollywood films on VHS (Chuck Norris vs Communism, 2015). Other highlights include Human, for which the filmmakers recorded authentic and moving stories in 63 languages from 2,020 people from 60 countries over two years and Luc Jacquet’s spectacularly beautiful environment docos Once Upon a Forest (2013) and Ice and Sky (2015).
The Look of Silence dir. Joshua Oppenheimer
Denmark, Indonesia, Finland, Norway, UK, Irael, France, USA, Germany, Netherlands/2014/103 min
Chuck Norris vs. Communism dir. Ilinca Calugareanu
A Woman's Story dir. Azra Rashid
Southeast Asian Cinema – When the Rooster Crows dir. Leonardo Cinieri Lombroso
Italy, Singapore/2014/88 min
Lighter Than Orange dir. Matthias Leupold
Germany, Vietnam/2015/72 min
1989 dir. Anders Østergaard and Erzsébet Rácz
Human dir. Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Once Upon A Forest dir. Luc Jacquet
Ice and the Sky dir. Luc Jacquet