Davy Chou Wins Screenwriter’s Prize at Cannes

Davy Chou’s feature film “Diamond Island,” shot mostly in Phnom Penh and featuring an all Cambodian cast, was awarded the French Screenwriter and Author Society’s SACD prize on Thursday during the Cannes Film Festival.

The award is presented each year to one of the films screened during the film critics’ week, which showcases the first feature films by new directors at the festival.

A still from Davy Chou's film 'Diamond Island'
A still from Davy Chou’s film ‘Diamond Island’

Mr. Chou was given the prize by screenwriter Christine Laurent, who described the film as “intimate, social, with a strangeness and affinity of modern worlds.”

A French director of Cambodian ancestry, Mr. Chou won several awards for his 2011 documentary film “Golden Slumber” about Cambodia’s vibrant film industry in the 1960s and had his short film “Cambodia 2099” shown during the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 2014.

With “Diamond Island,” he said on Sunday by email, “what was important was to present a different image of Cambodia…and I believe that the public as well as critics enjoyed getting into this story of boys and girls in today’s Cambodia.”

Mr. Chou, who co-wrote the script with French screenwriter Claire Maugendre, said he hopes to eventually present the film in Cambodia, although no date has yet been set.

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