7 - 9 Oct, 2018

21st Asian Project Market

2016 Project

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2016 Project

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PROJECT White Building (16:9 / color / 100min / Cambodia, France) NO 26
PRODUCTION Anti-Archive (Cambodia), Apsara Films (France)
PROJECT STATUSScript Development
Neang Kavich studied music and dance from a young age before graduating in professional design from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in 2013. He directed his first short film, A Scale Boy (2010), as part of a documentary film workshop led by Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh. This was followed by a mid-length documentary, Where I Go (2013), which was also produced by Rithy Panh and screened at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, among others. In 2013, Kavich joined the Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Film Academy. His first narrative short film, Three Wheels (2015), premiered at Busan International Film Festival and later won the Youth Jury Award at the Singapore International Film Festival. He has directed another short film, Goodbye Phnom Penh (2015), which was commissioned and subsequently screened by Asian Film Archive. In August 2016, Kavich attended the Summer Academy at the Festival del film Locarno, where he also screened Three Wheels.
Anti-Archive is a Cambodian film production company created in 2014 by Davy Chou, Steve Chen, and Neang Kavich to support Cambodia’s emerging generation of young independent filmmakers, as well as films by international, independent directors shooting in the country. Deliberately provocative, the name Anti-Archive invites rethinking the relationship between cinema and the past. Anti-Archive has co-produced the feature films Dream Land by Steve Chen (Festival del film Locarno, 2015), Diamond Island by Davy Chou (Cannes’ Critics’ Week, 2016) and the short film Three Wheels by Neang Kavich (Busan International Film Festival, 2015). Anti-Archive is currently finishing post-production on the feature, Turn Left, Turn Right, by Douglas Seok.

Apsara Films, a French company created in 2013 by Marine Arrighi De Casanova, is co-producing White Building. Apsara Films produced Fidelio, Alice’s Journey (2014), which was selected in competition at Festival del film Locarno in 2014 (Best Actress Award for Ariane Labed) and released in French theatres.
Samnang, Tol, and Ah Kha are teenaged neighbors in the White Building, the inner-city tenement where the boys have lived together all their lives. Samnang now lives alone ever since his mother moved abroad for work. The boys dream their dance routine could reach the stage of the Cambodia’s Got Talent television contest, but their youthful habits are upended after the appearance of a mysterious woman in the hallway of the building and after Ah Kha unexpectedly reveals to his friends that he will move to the United States.

In a brief intermission from the boys’ narrative, a real White Building family complains in an interview about new construction next door, the dilapidated state of the building, and their plans to move out.

Weeks after Ah Kha’s departure, Samnang’s mother calls to say she will not return to Cambodia. He and Tol still plan to audition for the television contest, but they are disturbed by changes in the White Building, noticing a series of unexplained robberies. As they search for explanation, the mysterious woman reappears and the boys find most of their neighbors have moved out.

A few weeks later, Samnang and Tol arrive in Phnom Penh from the countryside, where they now live. They perform their television audition, and the crowd enjoys the show. Later that day, Samnang arrives at the White Building only to find it demolished.
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