May 13th, 2013                                                                                                 Like us on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter     View our videos on YouTube

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

 

I hope this finds all of you happy, healthy, and well.

 

When I first started working on A River Changes Course I knew I wanted to tell a beautiful and compelling story. With the help of many people, especially Sari, Khieu, Sav Samourn and their families and our amazing crew of dedicated filmmakers, the Documentation Center of Cambodia, USAID, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, we were able to do that. A River Changes Course is a story about three young Cambodians and their families, but it is also a story about all of us as we chart the course of our lives in a world of uncertainty and instability and seek to find balance between conservation and progress. However, I also knew that telling the story was only half of what we needed to do. The other half of our mission is getting people to watch, see, hear, experience, and connect with the stories themselves.

Within the last few months we have been sharing the film and our stories with people across Cambodia and in the US. Soon, we hope to share the film with the rest of the world. The one thing I have gained from all the screenings we have had is a strong sense that power lies in the hands of our communities.
 
A young girl responds to the film after a screening at Pour un Sourire d'Enfant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 
With the assistance of The Documentation Center of Cambodia and their dedicated staff members Sa fatily and Kan Penhsamnang, we have already begun our village screenings in Cambodia. The film title, A River Changes Course (or Kbang Tik Tonle, as it's known in Khmer) is an homage to the relationship between the Cambodian ecosystem and its deep connection to the livelihood and culture of its people. Over a month ago, we screened to 1,000 school children at Pour un Sourire d'Enfant who were all captivated by the film. We have also screened in Koh Kong, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, and Kampong Thom Provinces as well as several Embassies and NGOs in Phnom Penh including the UN Center for Human Rights, Where there be Dragons, Amrita Performing Arts, and the Women Business Network.  

 

With the commitment and dedication of Miriam Morgenstern, a Cambodian History teacher at Lowell High School and Suyheang Kang, a Cambodian student at UMass, we screened the film to 600 hundred students at Lowell High School and SOLD OUT a screening at Lowell Showcase Cinemas. With the help of a social online platform called Tugg, community organizers are able to work with filmmakers to organize screenings of the movies they want at their local theater. With the help of our Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Ka and the Outreach Team from Picture Motion - Allie Hoffman, Alexandra Pearson, and Christie Marchese, we hope this screening will be the first of hundreds as we reach out to local communities all across the US in the fall. Please contact us if you are interested in hosting a screening in your community!
Festivals & Honors 
We have also had the tremendous fortune of screening at several film festivals across the country and have been honored to be amongst so many brilliant films and filmmakers. I am so impressed by the films that are being released this year. They are bold, courageous, beautiful, but also deeply personal stories that do not tell us how we should think and feel, but actually encourage us to reflect and to imagine. These films include Elemental, After Tiller, God Loves Uganda, Cutie and the BoxerAmerican Promise, and so many more. I am truly inspired. Please check them out if you have a chance to see them!  
Kalyanee with the Georgia Cambodian-American Association at the Atlanta Film Festival
Winner of the Conscience Award at the Docville Film Festival in Leuven, Belgium 
 
IndieWire - Winner of the Golden Gate Award for Best Documentary Feature at The San Francisco International Film Festival

San Francisco Bay Guardian - Five Must-See Documentaries at the Huge San Francisco International Film Festival

Hollywood Reporter - Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Cinematography at The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

LA Weekly - Four Movies to See at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 

Environmental Film Festival at Yale - Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature
 
Hollywood Reporter - Winner of the Human Rights Award at River Run Film Festival

 

  

The News Observer - Winner of the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival  

 

Atlanta Film Festival - Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature     

 

The Examiner - Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival
Future Screenings
Kalyanee responding to questions at the Season of Cambodia screening at Lincoln Center in New York City
We thank all of you for your continued support. If you have seen the film please spread the word. If you have not yet seen the film, please join us for a screening at the following festivals and purchase tickets by clicking on the links:

 

DOK.fest in Munich, Germany May 14

 

Green Film Festival in Seoul, South Korea May 14

 

 

DocHouse in London, England May 23

 

Seattle International Film Festival in Seattle, Washington May 26 and 27

 

San Francisco Green Film Festival in San Francisco, California June 1

 

Sydney Film Festival in Sydney, Australia June 9 and 11
 
MoMA Film ContemporAsian Exhibit in New York, New York June 12-17
Sincerely,
 
Kalyanee Mam
A River Changes Course
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