ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

2022 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

LIST Colors of White Rock
Category J.Solution Fund
Project Colors of White Rock
Director Khoroldorj CHOIJOOVANCHIG
Country France, Mongolia
Director's Profile Khoroldorj Choijoovanchig (Hogo) is a writer, director and cinematographer from Mongolia. His debut short film Dream (2010) competed in the Short Shorts Film Festival. His next film, Abnormal (2011) was selected for “Best 10” at the 48 GoGreen International ECO Filmmaking Competition. In 2011 and 2012, he was selected for the Asian Film Academy, Berlinale Talents, and Talents Tokyo, and in 2013, he made his first feature Yellow Colt. Supported by the Asian Cinema Fund, it won Best Screenplay and Best Debut Film at the 2014 Mongolian Academy Awards and screened at the Busan and Fribourg International Film Festivals. Currently, Hogo is working on writing and directing his first feature documentary: Colors of White Rock (2023).
Synopsis
Colors of White Rock (2023) captures the story of Maikhuu, one of the rare women truckers fighting for survival in the Gobi Desert wastelands wrought by Mongolia’s mining boom. Ensnared in a hazardous coal highway, her journey holds an astounding mirror to the human and environmental costs of “Minegolia.”

The sublime landscape of Mongolia, disfigured by the greed of global mining companies, is the setting of a drama that unfolds everyday: that of Mongolian truck drivers, subject to grueling conditions as they cross the Gobi Desert by the thousands to deliver coal to China. On the scarred, polluted highway in the border area of White Rock, they stall in an endless queue, living out of their trucks for weeks at a time. Colors of White Rock (2023) foregrounds the story of Maikhuu, one of the rare women performing this perilous labor. Capturing her resilience in this man’s world, it follows her as she befriends a lively community of drivers, vendors, mechanics, and even prostitutes. In a country where mining holds a monopoly on employment, she?like most?has been drawn here by the promise of better pay. With the money from driving, she’s been able to move her family out of the capital’s Ger District (shantytown) and send her kids to good schools. Yet, as she suffers the toll on her health and the long stretches of family separation, she’s also begun to doubt the job’s sacrifices?to wonder if she’ll ever be able to escape this road.
Director's Note
In Colors of White Rock (2023), we envision a cinematic language whose lyrical intensity will plunge the viewer into this parallel universe of the Gobi mining highway, with its uncanny atmosphere and colossal proportions. Aerial shots of the desert will leave the spectator astounded by the sheer magnitude of mining expansion, the mushrooming clouds of smog and coal dust, and the endless line of trucks stretching across the sands like an enormous scar. Excerpts from Mongolian writer Begziin Yavuukhulan’s poem “The Gobi”?evoking the desert’s sacred beauty?will float poignantly over these visions of the highway’s mechanical wasteland, like an elegy arresting the viewer with the sense of irreversible loss and tragedy unfolding across this landscape.

Alternating between these haunting wide shots of the Gobi and close-ups of the drivers filmed in a direct cinema style, the film will underscore the cruel disparity between the mining industry’s sprawling greed and the drivers’ personal struggles and dreams of a better life.
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