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7th Festival
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A River Changes Course
Kbang tuk tonle

Fri. Jan. 3, 2014 at 6:30pm
Central Valley Premiere

Janet Leigh Theatre

Documentary Film
83 min | Cambodia, USA | 2013
Director: Kalyanee Mam
Language: Khmer with English subtitles

Opening Night Film

A River Changes Course
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In Person: The festival and Stocktonians proudly welcome home Director Kalyanee Mam, alumnus of Edison High School Class of 1995, for this special Hometown Premiere of her acclaimed film.

Director Mam will be presented with the Festival’s Journey Award, honoring her unique connection to the San joaquin community, her international filmmaking achievement and her ongoing humanitarian efforts in Cambodia and beyond.

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the prestigious 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Kalyanee Mam’s vérité documentary offers a sobering portrait at how encroaching modernity is threatening the livelihoods and traditions of three struggling families in very distinct parts of her native Cambodia. Deforestation is decimating the lush mountain jungles and its stocks of wild animals. Fish are disappearing from the rivers. Fields are going neglected as workers flock to sweatshops in the capital of Phnom Penh.Considering that her family once toiled in Cambodian work camps, Mam observes her homeland with surprising compassion, as well as the skilful eye of a preeminent cinematographer. (She previously lensed the Oscar-winning Inside Job.) Her visual compositions are astonishing, utilizing the vibrant landscapes as stunning backdrops for her immaculate studies of backbreaking labour and impossible decisions. Sincere and unpresumptuous, Mam’s directorial debut is undeniably vital, offering a universal story of survival, love and hope. —Vancouver International Film Festival

“This is a film about sacrifice, lovingly observed. Cambodia is undergoing rapid changes that are forcing people off the land and into debt… What were once mountains are now roads; what was once a forest is now commercial farmland owned by Chinese businesses; where there was once an abundance of fish, now there is a paucity. The many moments of beauty to be found in A River Changes Course represent a strong contrast with all of this.”—Vicki Robinson, Film Comment

Official Trailer

Select Festivals & Awards

- Winner, World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary, 2013 Sundance Film Festival, USA
- Winner, Golden Gate Award, Best Documentary Feature, 2013 San Francisco International Film Festival
- Winner, Filmmaker Award, 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
- Winner, Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize, 2013 Atlanta Film Festival
- 2013 Sydney International Film Festival, Australia

Director Kalyanee Mam

Kalyanee Mam

Award-winning filmmaker, lawyer, and born storyteller, Kalyanee Mam, is committed to combining her passion for art and advocacy to tell compelling and universal stories. Born in Battambang, Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge Regime, she and her family fled the refugee camps at the Thai-Cambodian border and eventually immigrated to the United States in 1981. Even to this day her mother recounts stories of their flight through jungles laden with land mines. These stories and many others inspired Kalyanee to return to her native homeland and to make films about atrocities occurring in Cambodia even today. Most recently, Kalyanee has directed, produced and shot winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, A River Changes Course, which charts the radical changes in Cambodia today that are transforming not only the country’s landscape – but also the dreams of its people. Kalyanee has also worked on 2011 Oscar-winning documentary, Inside Job (Cinematographer, Associate Producer, and Researcher) about the global financial crisis and documentary short Between Earth & Sky (Director, Producer, Cinematographer) about three young Iraqi refugee artists living in Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. A graduate of Yale University and UCLA Law School, Kalyanee has also worked as a legal consultant in Mozambique and Iraq.

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Opening Night Screening + Party
Fri., Jan. 3, 2013, 6:30pm

Special Encore 2nd Screening
Mon., Jan. 6, 2013, 6:00pm

Cast & Crew

Director: Kalyanee Mam
Producer: Ratanak Leng, Kalyanee Mam
Cinematographer: Kalyanee Mam
Editor: Chris Brown
Music: David Mendez
Zach Martin, Angie Yesson
Subjects: Sari Math, Khieu Mok, Sav Samourn

Official Website

Print Source

US Contact: Picture Motion

World Sales: CATS&Docs, France


Screening Sponsors

University Plaza Waterfront Hotel

Library and Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County

This presentation is sponsored by:
- University Plaza Waterfront Hotel
- Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County
- Emily Ballus



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