A young indigenous Bunong woman and her older brother spend one last day in their rural village in northeastern Cambodia, before an impending move to the capital city in search of a more prosperous life. While her brother is excited for the move, she senses a quiet desire to return to their long-gone village that was lost to the development of a nearby hydroelectric dam a few years earlier.
Original Title Chhngai Dach Alai Original Title (Khmer) ឆ្ងាយដាច់អាល័យ Year of production 2022 Length 24min Country Cambodia Shooting Format Digital 4K Aspect Ratio1.78:1 DialogueBunong, Khmer DirectorPolen Ly Producers Daniel Mattes, Davy Chou, Sophea Kim ProductionAnti-Archive Co-Production Kongchak Pictures Co-Producer Loy Te Writer Polen Ly CinematographerPolen Ly Editor Kavich Neang Sound Designer Vincent Villa First Assistant Director Ouch Lath Cast Bopha Oul, Phanny Loem
With Support From Singapore International Film Festival Sea-Shorts Film Grant Momo Film Co. International Rivers Ngo Cambodia Film Commission Cambodian Department Of Cinema And Cultural Diffusion
Festival selections Berlinale, Berlin International Film Festival 2022 Germany - World Premiere Glasgow Short Film Festival 2022, UK Aspen Shortsfest 2022, USA New Directors/ New Films 2022, USA Vienna Shorts 2022, Austria Olhar de Cinema – Curitiba International Film Festival 2022, Brazil Palm Springs International ShortFest 2022, USA -Best Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes Award HollyShorts Film Festival 2022, USA Concorto Film Festival 2022, Italy Le Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur 2022, Belgium Filmfest Sundsvall 2022, Sweden Vancouver International Film Festival 2022, Canada Corto e Fieno - Rural Film Festival 2022, Italy Filmfest Eberswalde 2022, Germany Lima Alterna International Film Festival 2022, Peru Imagine Science Film Festival 2022, USA Raindance Film Festival 2022, UK San Diego Asian Film Festival 2022, USA Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival 2022, Canada - Air Canada Award New Orleans Film Festival 2022, USA Cinema South Festival 2022, Israel Lublin Film Festival 2022, Poland Singapore International Film Festival 2022 - Silver Screen Award for Best Performance (Bopha Oul) Festival Curta Cinema - Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival 2022, Brazil Laceno d'oro International Film Festival 2022, Italy - Laceno d’oro Award “Gli Occhi sulla città" Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival 2022,Philippines Bogoshorts - Bogotá Short Film Festival 2022, Colombia Cambodia National Short Film Festival 2022 - Special Jury Award Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival 2022, Thailand - Best ASEAN Short Film Award Minimalen Short Film Festival 2023, Norway - Honorable Mention Si loin, Si proche - Rencontres des cinémas du Cambodge, Laos et Vietnam 2023, France Festival du Court Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand 2023, France Semana de Cine de Medina del Campo 2023, Spain ONE Country ONE Film - Apchat-Issoire International Festival 2023, France International Film Festival of Uruguay 2023 Busan International Short Film Festival 2023, South Korea OtherMovie Lugano Film Festival 2023, Switzerland - Best Director Award Akbank International Short Film Festival 2023, Turkey Diaspora Film Festival 2023, South Korea Cambodia International Film Festival 2023 Seoul International Eco Film Festival 2023, South Korea
Director's Statement I started writing this film in 2017 while researching a documentary in a rural indigenous village facing the floods of a new hydropower dam built on the local river. Although they eventually resettled, some villagers still missed their ancestral land, where they felt independent and better connected to nature. The new resettlement site appeared to me as a place of conflict, between dreams of the future and memories of the past. These elements are reflected in the two characters of the film.