By Kavich NEANG


First film - Development 2018

Amid a city developing faster than his own body, 18-year-old Samnang faces the loss of his lifelong home as past and possibility seem to converge.

& Awards

Busan - BIFF/APM 2016
APM - Arte International Prize
Busan - BIFF/APM 2016
APM - CJ Entertainment Award
    • Year of production
    • 2018
    • Genres
    • First film, Social issues, Drama
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • KHMER
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Kavich NEANG
    • Writer(s)
    • Kavich NEANG, Daniel MATTES
    • Producer(s)
    • Davy CHOU (ANTI-ARCHIVE), Marine ARRIGHI (Apsara Films)
    • Synopsis
    • Inside Phnom Penh’s landmark tenement nicknamed the White Building, 18-year-old Samnang (Sam) and two friends, Tol and Ah Kha, dream their dance routine can reach the stage of a television talent contest. They spend a day rehearsing, playing football on the building’s rooftop, and driving around the city. They earn money with a performance at a late-night restaurant, and they run into an old friend, Kanha, whom Tol has long had a crush on. Their youthful habits are upended, however, when Ah Kha reveals he will leave Cambodia.

      Months later, the White Building is less busy. Sam’s mother feels resentful that Sam’s sister, Samphors, has moved out of the family home to live independently. Sam’s neighbors debate the government’s compensation offers for residents to move out due to the building’s impending demolition, but Sam increasingly worries about his father’s worsening health. Sam’s father, the local chief for the building, neglects his worsening leg infection while unsuccessfully attempting to bring together a divided community traumatized by a painful collective history. As Sam’s own nightmares converge with the deep fears shared within this diminishing urban community, Sam begins to understand that the stable environment he has always called home is on shaky ground. But soon after Sam comes to recognize his own generation’s responsibility to chart a clearer course for the future, he must unexpectedly flee the building alongside his friends, family, and other residents.

      Two months later, Sam returns to the empty land where the White Building once stood. He finds something in the sand, but he leaves it behind. Instead he reunites with his friends, Tol and Kanha, at the riverside in central Phnom Penh. They look out at the waters which continue to flow downward and upward, intersect, and move onward. He joins Samphors at her new rental apartment on the periphery of Phnom Penh, and he shows her a video he recorded of their father, who wears a prosthetic after having amputated his leg, dancing with their mother and other former White Building residents at a recent wedding party. Sam and his sister laugh while they watch the video. They look happy together.
    • Partners & financing
    • ANTI-ARCHIVE (Cambodia), APSARA FILMS (France), Arte International (France), CJ Entertainment (South Korea), Talents Tokyo Next Masters Support - Development Fund (Japan) Cambodia Film Commission (CAMBODIA)