A River Changes Course

A River Changes Course

Category
2015-Competition, Labor

Kalyanee Mam

Cambodia, 2012, 83’

Editing: Chris Brown
Photography: Kalyanee Man
Music and Sound: David Mendez

Halk Eğitim Merkezi, Thursday 13:00- 15:00

Synopsis: In her feature directorial debut, Kalyanee Mam, the cinematographer for the Academy Award–Winning documentary “Inside Job”, returns to her native homeland to explore the struggles of three Cambodian families caught in the midst of rapid development. The once abundant forests, plentiful rivers, and tropical jungles have become victims to land grabbing, deforestation, and fish depletion effecting the rural communities that heavily depend on the land to survive. Being no longer able to support their families, due to accumulating debt as a result, they are forced to leave home and seek employment in large corporations.

Over a span of two years, Mam lives with the families and becomes one of their own. Her deeply intimate bond with the characters shines through her emotionally raw storytelling as they reveal to her their hopes and dreams that are in conflict with their need to sacrifice for their families. Being unable to pursue a better life, due to the limitations and lack of resources, they are left with uncertainty over their future and only occupied with the burdens of the present.

Director: An award-winning filmmaker, a lawyer, and a natural-born storyteller, Kalyanee Mam, is committed to combining her passion for art and advocacy to tell compelling and universal stories. Born in Battambang, Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge Regime, she and her family fled the refugee camps at the Thai-Cambodian border and eventually immigrated to the United States in 1981. Even to this day her mother recounts stories of their flight through jungles laden with land mines.
These stories and many others inspired Kalyanee to return to her native homeland and to make films about atrocities occurring in Cambodia even today. Most recently, Kalyanee has directed, produced and shot the winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival with “A River Changes Course” which charts the radical changes in Cambodia today that are transforming not only the country’s landscape but also the dreams of its people. Kalyanee has also worked on the 2011 Oscar-winning documentary “Inside Job” as the cinematographer, associate producer, and researcher about the global financial crisis. As the director, producer, cinematographer she also worked on the short documentary “Between Earth & Sky” that is about three young Iraqi refugee artists living in Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. A graduate of Yale University and UCLA Law School, Kalyanee has also worked as a legal consultant in Mozambique and Iraq.

Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary Sundance 2013
Best Director and Best Cinematography at the 2013 LAAPFF
Golden Gate Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2013 SFIFF