Kavich Neang’s Debut Film ‘White Building’ To Premiere At Venice Festival

Anti-Archive is thrilled to announce that WHITE BUILDING, the first feature film from Cambodian director Kavich NEANG, will hold its world premiere in September in the Orizzonti competition of the 78th Venice Film Festival, the world’s oldest film festival.

VENICE, ITALY— Cambodian production company Anti-Archive is excited and honored to announce that WHITE BUILDING, the first feature film from Cambodian director Kavich NEANG, will join the prestigious selection of the Orizzonti (“Horizons”) competition of the Official Selection of the 78th Venice Film Festival, the oldest film festival in the world. Kavich Neang will be the first Cambodian director ever to present a film in Venice’s Official
Selection. This is a huge honor for Kavich Neang and the production team.

The film is a fiction based on the real experiences of Kavich Neang, who lived in Phnom Penh’s landmark White Building until its 2017 demolition to make way for new real estate developments. In the film, 20-year-old Samnang lives in the historic building in Phnom Penh. He and his two best friends practice their dance routine dreaming of television talent contests while their parents lead a more traditional lifestyle. But as the White Building
faces demolition, Samnang must deal with his best friend’s departure from Cambodia while he observes his father unsuccessfully attempting to bring together his divided neighbors. Samnang finds that the stable environment he has always called home is on shaky ground.

Kavich Neang describes his film: “Phnom Penh seems to change every day, but our memories still remain. My family’s 2017 eviction from the White Building, an historic apartment block, made way for new casino developments. Like my parents’ generation, which suffered through Cambodia’s troubled past, my generation now carries the traumas of the present. Young people, like my film’s protagonist, Samnang, dream of something better in the new Cambodia. Yet larger decisions are still out of their hands, and parents like Samnang’s remain stubbornly tied to tradition. But this film allowed me to imagine again. The fiction frees Samnang from my own path. He wakes up from a long sleep. He recalls the past but charts his own future.”

WHITE BUILDING is an international co-production between Anti-Archive (Cambodia), led by delegate producer Davy CHOU; Apsara Films (France), led by delegate producer Marine ARRIGHI de CASANOVA; Xstream Pictures (China), led by acclaimed Chinese filmmaker JIA Zhang-ke; and, Kongchak Pictures (Cambodia), led by co-producer Loy TE. Brandon HASHIMOTO and Rotha MOENG joined as co-producers as well.

The film would not have been possible without the endless dedication and support of so many people here in Cambodia. The cast was led by Piseth CHHUN as Samnang, alongside Sithan HOUT, Sokha UK, Chinnaro SOEM, Sovann THO, Jany MIN, and Chandalin Y. The crew was Cambodian-led, with foreigners closely collaborating across departments, and with more than 60 Cambodians involved in the production of the film. The film was made possible only with the critical support of the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, the Cambodian Cinema Department, the Cambodia Film Commission, and PSE School of Media. The film’s world sales are managed by Les Films du Losange. A release in Cambodian cinemas is expected in late 2021.

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