Cambodian Movie Scoops Award at Regional Film Festival

Cambodian film director, Huy Yaleng, is celebrating after his film, ‘Fathers’, walked away with the Special Jury Award at the ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards
Cambodian film director, Huy Yaleng
Cambodian film director, Huy Yaleng

Cambodian film director Huy Yaleng has won an award at the ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA 2023) over the weekend.

He scooped the Special Jury Award for his movie ‘Fathers’, which is based on the true story of a disabled cyclo driver, whose wife left him with two young children, meaning he has to work hard to support the family.

Yaleng, 43, is from Battambang and has been active in the film industry for 23 years. His win comes true after two failed tries.

“They know that Cambodians can produce quality, both in the meaning of messages and techniques,” Yaleng told Kiripost on Monday.

Yaleng said he is happy with the award, adding that the film is inspirational and educational to society.

He noted that ‘Fathers’ focuses on a dad who does not talk to his daughter. Yet, he does everything to support and give her money to study, despite earning little income each day as a cyclo driver in Phnom Penh.

“This film is motivating to all children who have good or bad fathers. They should know how to sacrifice to support their families because no one can love you more than your parents, especially fathers,” he said.

Yaleng said that while making the film, he had to train with cyclo drivers as he did not know how to drive, so he spent about one month learning. During his training, he hurt himself because it took a lot of body power to drive people from one place to another place.

He said that ‘Fathers’ was filmed with a budget of $50,000, whereas an international film would be more expensive.

Yaleng, also called Meatochak, has been known in Cambodia for his witch-centric horror movies, of which ‘Ghost of Chek Chvea’ is one of the most famous.

However, in the future, Yaleng wants to produce more action and war films, but fears these may cost more financially. His reason to switch genres is that he does not want his fans to only watch ghost stories and he needs to find something new to entertain them.

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