20 Jun – "Funan", an animated film centered on Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime, took home the biggest award of the night at the 42nd Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
Taking place from 11 to 16 June 2018 in Annecy, France, the international film festival concluded with "Funan" nabbing the Cristal for a Feature Film award, according to Variety.
Directed by Denis Do, the animation film features a semi-autobiographical story inspired by his mother's life during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.
"Funan" explores the life of a Cambodian family facing daily hardships and enduring the violent repressions of the infamous Khmer Rouge regime during the 1970s.
Most notably, the film follows the mother's (a character based on Do's own mother) journey to find her son after being separated from him during the forceful evacuation of city dwellers by Pol Pot's army to labor camps in the countryside, the event which eventually leads to the fall of Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975.
The art director of "Funan," Michael Crouzat (the key animator on "Despicable Me"),
portrays the dark period of Cambodia in harrowing details while paying special attention to the beauty of Cambodian landscape.
The animation film is co-produced by ithinkasia studio and Les Films d'Ici, a collaboration between four countries: Belgium, Cambodia, France and Luxembourg.
It should be noted that Cambodian artists received formal training and were officially employed by the studios to produce this film.
Although there is no plan of international screenings at the moment, hopefully, we will get the chance to see this animation film in local cinemas here in Cambodia.