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The Award-winning Film Has Finally Come to Cambodia

PHNOM PENH:​ Legend Midtown hosted the biggest premiere on Tuesday night 6 April for the award-winning film “White Building” by Kavich Neang starring Piseth Chhun who won the Orizzonti award for Best Actor in Venice, Italy, last September 2021.

The premiere was attended by key people from the music, art, and film industries, as well as the US Ambassador to Cambodia, Patrick Murphy, and the French Ambassador to Cambodia, Jacques Pellet.

The Legend Cinemas Marketing Manager, Nicolas Thevenet, said that he is happy to support Khmer films. Legend devoted all halls at Midtown to the film's premiere, along with performances by Klapyahandz artists, and a Q&A session with the cast and crew. He said that he is proud to see a Khmer film made by a Khmer team doing so well on the international stage. He said he has seen the film twice and loved it both times, and he hopes Khmer audiences give a chance to this one of a kind movie.

“White Building” is Kavich Neang’s first feature film. He started this project in 2016 and took five years to complete it. He said that wanted to create a souvenir of the white building landmark before it was torn down. He explained that it was a challenge to work with up-and-coming actors at first, because they were not used to working in front of cameras, but he said he is happy and proud of the work they have all done, as well as the fact that the film got international recognition.

He said, “International [festivals] do not really know or haven't really heard of Cambodia. So for me, I’m super stoked about getting recognition. I never got formal [film] training with standards, the film was made with my friends and our passion. So when we got selected for Venice, which is one of the biggest film festivals in the world, I was very proud and excited for the international community to see the film and Cambodia.”

A big fan of Kavich is one of the film’s producers, Brandon Hashimoto, who saw Kavich’s talent and potential through his short films and was motivated to help him create his first feature-length film.

He said, “This person has to make a feature. I’m going to do whatever I can to support that because that needs to happen. Seeing the way he produces the films and directs them, there’s just something–a way that he pulls both the performances from the actors and the way that he decided to pace and edits the film, it really draws very interesting emotions and thoughts that make people think about this and emphasize with the characters in this film.”

White Building is playing at all cinemas in Cambodia starting 7 April 2022.

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