A Cambodian Spring


2018 Season

“If we confront our fears, then we can be brave. But if we try to run away from our problems, then our problems will follow us.” - Venerable Luon Sovath, film subject, A Cambodian Spring, Winner of the Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett Grant

Shot over six years, A Cambodian Spring is an intimate portrait of three people caught up in the chaotic and aggressive sweep of forced evictions and land grabbing in the name of “economic progress”. Two fearless women, children in tow, take charge and lead the growing movement in their community, repeatedly facing imprisonment and violence. Buddhist monk and award-winning activist Venerable Loun Sovath is harassed, censored, and evicted by his own religious leaders when he becomes a key figure in the land-rights protests that led up to the “Cambodian Spring” beginning in 2013. The film charts the complexities, both political and personal, of fighting for what you believe, asking the audience: how much would you be willing to sacrifice? Special Jury Prize for International Feature Documentary, Hot Docs 2017

Chris Kelly
Khmer, English
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
Chris Kelly
Writer, producer, cinematographer and director

Chris is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and the founder of Little Ease Films. He has spent the last nine years making his first feature documentary A Cambodian Spring, which won the Special Jury Prize for International Feature Documentary at Hot Docs 2017 and Best Documentary at the Brooklyn Film Festival 2017. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian newspaper and in 2014 produced an award-winning undercover investigation into slavery in the Thai fishing industry. His work has taken him as far afield as South Sudan, Burma, the Philippines, Laos and Thailand. He is currently developing an animated feature film about slavery in the Thai fishing industry, and a Virtual Reality computer game about slavery and migration.