ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Script Development Fund

2014 Script Development Fund

LIST Diamond Island
Category Asian Project
Project Diamond Island
Director Davy CHOU
Country Cambodia, France
Director's Profile Davy Chou is a French-Cambodian filmmaker born in 1983.
In 2009, he established a filmmaking workshop in Phnom Penh and founded a collective for young Cambodian film-makers, Kon Khmer Koun Khmer.
The grandson of the Cambodian producer Van Chan, he organized Golden Reawakening Festival in 2009, which celebrated the golden age of Cambodian cinema during the 1960s and 1970s.
<Golden Slumbers>(2011) was his first feature-length documentary. It was selected for Busan International Film Festival in 2011, Berlinale Forum in 2012, as well as for more than forty international festivals including Hong Kong, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Sydney. His short film <Cambodia 2099>(2014) was selected for Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes.
Bora leaves his mother and elder brother behind in his home village, and sets out with his friend Dy looking for work on the ultra-modern Diamond Island, which is still under construction.
Bora divides his days between the camp, where he sleeps, and the worksites, where he becomes close with Virak and the group of friends he leads. At night they watch the flurry of youngsters on scooters crisscrossing the island.
One night, Bora finds his older brother, the charismatic and mysterious Solei, who left three years earlier without giving any news. Solei exposes Bora to the exciting world of the well-to-do youth. Bora grows distant from his former friends, including Dy, who is suffering more and more on the construction site.
Director's Note
Cambodia is transforming itself at spectacular speed, resulting in a widening gap between those who jump on the bandwagon, and those who don’t. But what I find the most striking is the unanimous and extraordinary appetite for modernity driving today’s youth, as though the brutal exposure to globalization was a breath of fresh air after years of terrible deprivation. The movie <Diamond Island> aims to explore the simultaneously passionate and contradictory relationship—both poetic and cruel—that Cambodia’s youth has with the myth of modernity.
The film tells the story of how the timid Bora—exposed to this new world by the magnetic Solei—learns to dream, and how chasing his dream brings meanwhile disillusionment and sacrifice.
Still Cut