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White Building

Spring Grants 2020 - Post-Production Stage
Current project status: POST-PRODUCTION

Kavich Neang / Feature Narrative / Cambodia, France, China, Qatar / 90 min / Original Language: Khmer / Interests: Coming of age, Drama, Politics, Social Issues, Youth, Based on a True Story


Raised in Phnom Penh’s landmark tenement—the White Building—20-year-old Samnang and two friends, Tol and Ah Kha, dream their dance routine can reach the stage of a television talent contest. However, their youthful habits are upended when Ah Kha reveals he will soon leave Cambodia. Months later, the White Building is less busy. Samnang’s neighbours debate the government’s compensation offers for residents to move out due to the building’s impending demolition, but Sam increasingly worries about his father’s worsening health. Samnang’s father, the local chief for the building, neglects his leg infection while unsuccessfully attempting to bring together his divided neighbours traumatized by a painful collective history. As Samnang’s nightmares converge with the deep-rooted fears shared by his parents and this diminishing urban community, Samnang begins to understand that the stable environment he has always called home is on shaky ground. He comes to recognize his own generation’s responsibility to determine its own future. But it is too late; the building is demolished. Samnang stays with relatives in the countryside far from Phnom Penh, but plans a return to the city soon, even if he remains unsure of the right step to take.


Kavich NEANG
Kavich NEANG, Daniel MATTES

About the Director

Kavich Neang was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1987. He has directed five short films since 2011. He first studied under Rithy Panh, and in 2013, he joined Busan's Asian Film Academy. In 2014, he co-founded Anti-Archive alongside Davy CHOU and Steve CHEN. He joined Cannes Cinéfondation's Residency in 2017-18. His 2019 documentary 'Last Night I Saw You Smiling' won the NETPAC Award at IFFR, the Special Jury Prize at Jeonju, Best Image at Janela de Cinema and two awards at Tokyo FilmEx. He is now completing his first narrative feature, 'White Building', due to premiere in 2020.

Production Company Profile

Anti-Archive is a Cambodian film production company created in 2014 by filmmakers Davy Chou, Steve Chen, and Kavich Neang, with Park Sungho joining in 2016. Anti-Archive produces and co-produces fiction and documentary films by the emerging, new generation of Cambodian filmmakers, as well as films by international, independent directors shooting in Cambodia and Southeast Asia. Deliberately provocative, the name Anti-Archive invites one to rethink the relationship of films and filmmakers with the past and history. The four recognized the need for film production infrastructure in this part of South East Asia to support young independent filmmakers, some of whom have since shown their first works internationally, and decided to create Anti-Archive in 2014. The films produced under Anti-Archive have subsequently premiered around the world, including Cannes, Locarno, Busan, Torino, and IFFR.

Apsara Films, a French company created in 2013 by Marine Arrighi de Casanova alongside Isabelle Tillou and Lucie Borleteau, is co-producing ‘White Building’. Apsara Films has already produced three feature films: ‘Fidelio, Alice’s Journey’ (2014), which was selected in competition at Locarno Film Festival in 2015 (Best Actress Award for Ariane Labed) and won Special Jury Mention at the Palm Springs Film Festival before being released in French theatres; ‘Whatever Happened to My Revolution’ (2019) and ‘Into the World’, which will be released in 2020. Marine Arrighi de Casanova has also produced short films, such as ‘Olla’, directed by Ariane Labed, which premiered at Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes in 2019, and which has been selected to many festivals around the world (Clermont-Ferrand, Sundance, Telluride, among others). In addition to ‘White Building’, Apsara Films is also currently producing or developing three other feature films.


  • Main Contact

    Davy Chou


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