20-year-old Samnang and two of his friends live in the White Building, a landmark tenement in Phnom Penh. In this fast-changing city, the three boys practice their dance routine dreaming of television talent contests while their parents lead a more traditional lifestyle. But the White Building is to be demolished. Samnang observes his father unsuccessfully attempting to bring together his divided neighbors on the government’s compensation offers for residents to move out, and he must face his best friend’s departure from Cambodia. Samnang finds that the stable environment he has always called home is on shaky ground.
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. White Building is his first feature film.
Filmography: White Building (2021, D'A 2022), Last Night I Saw You Smiling (2019), New Land Broken Road (short, 2018), Goodbye Phnom Penh (short, 2015), Three Wheels (short, 2015), Where I Go (shortfilm, 2013), A Scale Boy (short, 2011)