Cambodia has submitted Chhay Bora’s Lost Loves to the best foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards, marking the first time in 18 years that the country has sent a film to the Oscars.The Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee (COSC) voted unanimously for the historical drama, which follows the experiences of a middle-class woman during Pol Pot’s genocidal regime.
Chhay Bora and his wife Kauv Sotheary, who are both university professors, used 15 years of personal savings to finance the film, one of the first historical dramas made by Cambodians about life during the Khmer Rouge regime.
Bora directed and produced while his wife plays the leading role. She is the surviving daughter of Leave Sila, the woman whose story forms the basis of the film.
The film was released in Cambodia on January 6 and, due to demand, screened consecutively for 42 days. It then continued to play on a weekend basis until April 2012.
“This event is historic for Cambodia’s reviving film industry,” said COSC chairman Mariam Arthur. “The only other film submitted by Cambodia for Oscar consideration was Rithy Panh’s The Rice People in 1994.”
The COSC was granted approval by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in October 2011.
Radio Free Asia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUP0CHmavys
LOST LOVES: PRESS ON THE FILM
“Generating a level of discussion about the Khmer Rouge that is rare in Cambodia.” -Los Angeles Times
“The most talked about film” -Hollywood Reporter
“A notable contribution to Cambodian film” – Phnom Penh Post / 7 Days Feature
“Lost Loves is the best-looking Cambodian film in years” – Meta House
“An impressive accomplishment, a well-made Cambodian film on a subject matter,
that seems to slip from public consciousness all to easily in Cambodia” -Dr. Tilman Baumgrtel, Southeast Asian Film Studies Institute
“My movie, I am not doing it for the [Khmer Rouge tribunal]. I am not doing it for politics. I am doing it for my people, for Cambodian victims, who suffered, who died,
to let the people judge what is wrong, what is right. This is a true story.” – Chhay Bora (Director)
LOST LOVES, is the heart wrenching true story of Leav Sila, just one of many countless mothers that did all they could to keep their family alive, only to see the vast majority be killed or starve to death in the fateful years of the Khmer Rouge regime. Written and starring Kauv Sotheary, one of only two surviving children of Leav Sila, it gives a brutal yet captivating insight into the extremity of this painful chapter in history. LOST LOVES is directed by Chhay Bora, Kauv Sottheary’s husband. Both being university lecturers, they have spent their life savings on this project, not for personal gain, but because Leav Sila’s story, like many thousands of that period, needed to be told. The new generation of Cambodians must learn their history so as to never repeat it.
ABOUT DIRECTOR CHHAY BORA
Professor Chhay Bora is an active member of the local Cambodian arts and movie scene.
1986 Professor Chhay Bora graduated performing art as play actor/director and writer at Fine Art University. 1993, He graduated Mater Degree of Economic Science in Bulgaria and 2005 He finished his doctor degree. 2003, He produced a Cambodian Modern play (Historical story called Khmer Hero, with 120 actors/actresses. This play was the largest play in Cambodian Play History.
Professor Chhay Bora, spent his 10 years in teaching business management in public and private universities in Phnom Penh. With deeply love as an artist heart and the memory of Cambodian Genocide, in 2008 he and his wife (Writer/ Actress Prof. Kauv Sotheary) decided to use his 15 years saving account to produce a first historical film based in a memory of his mother-in low during the Cambodian Genocide.