Diamond Island

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France | 2016 | 101 minutes | Davy Chou

18-year-old Bora leaves his village in rural Cambodia to work on the construction sites of the chic, wealthy "Diamond Island," where he reunites with his older brother and is seduced by the vibrant nightlife scene until tragedy forces him to reconsider what truly matters.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

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Monday, June 5, 2017

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

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Bora hasn't seen his older brother Solei in the six years since he left their home in rural Cambodia. When he shows up at the construction site of Bora's new job near Phnom Penh smoking a cigarette and sporting cool clothes and an edgy haircut, Bora's anxious to find out what he's been up to. Solei introduces him to the local scene of "Diamond Island," a nickname for the luxury area Bora's working on developing. Soon he's immersed in the nightlife spending evenings at hip clubs, riding with a cute girl on the back of his motorbike, and texting people with his fancy new iPhone. But life's not as cut-and-dried as the sleek architecture of Diamond Island would suggest, and tragedy shakes reality back into the rural-born teen, forcing him to think about what's really important. Diamond Island brings to mind the natural 20-something dialogue of Richard Linklater and the neon atmosphere of Wong Kar-Wai. Cinematographer Thomas Favel creates a truly captivating ambiance, with sweeping, glittering 360-degree shots and faces sometimes lit only by disco lights and cell-phone screens. This narrative debut by Davy Chou is a tender and bittersweet drama about teenage self-discovery.

Director Biography

Davy Chou is a French-Cambodian filmmaker and producer, born in 1983 and based in Paris and Phnom Penh. In 2009, he created the French production company Vycky Films with Jacky Goldberg and Sylvain Decouvelaere. He established a filmmaking workshop in Cambodia, where he founded a collective for young local filmmakers. Golden Slumbers (2011), a feature-length documentary about the birth of Cambodian cinema in the 60's, and its destruction by the Khmer Rouge was selected by the Berlinale Forum, the Busan International Film Festival, as well as by more than 40 international festivals. His short film Cambodia 2099 (2014) was selected for Cannes's Directors' Fortnight and won among others the Great Prize of Curtas Vila do Conde. In 2014, he founded the Cambodian production company Anti-Archive with filmmakers Steve Chen and Kavich Neang. Diamond Island, produced by Aurora Films and co-produced by Anti-Archive, Vycky Films, Vandertastic, Arte France Cinema and 185 Films is his first feature film.

Sponsored by Southeast Asia Center UW, Muckleshoot Tribe

  • Director: Davy Chou
  • Principal Cast: Sobon Noun, Cheanik Nov, Madeza Chhem, Mean Korn, Samnang Nut, Mean Korn, Sophyna Meng, Jany Min, Samnang Khim, Batham Oun, Sreyleap Hang, Sreyroth Dom
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: France, Cambodia, Germany
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 101 minutes
  • Producer: Charlotte Vincent
  • Screenplay: Davy Chou, Claire Maugendre
  • Cinematographers: Thomas Favel
  • Editors: Laurent Leveneur
  • Music: Jérémie Arcache, Christophe Musset
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Cannes Film Festival 2016 (SACD Prize)
  • Filmography: Golden Slumbers (doc. 2011)
  • Language: Khmer
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Les Films du Losange