The idea was to create a film that would improve the lives of children in Cambodia.
Creative elements were preserved in the director’s organic script development, the casting, and the direction of the movie.
By including local children in the film making process we have been able to empower them and open the doors to the wider world. They are all partners in the film and will share in the film’s profit.
Forest spent years in the country working with children before writing the script. Embracing the opportunity the children told stories of their lives, their wishes and their dreams.
From its inception at the begining of the next year when we began pre-production, A Cambodian Winter has been an amazing journey.
After months of writing the original screenplay, Forest Wise started the process of casting the children.
Using the script as a blue print, Forest and the children worked together for months, rehearsing and building upon the story, basically re-editing the whole script.
In November, Forest began filming a moving piece or art with Jaime Reynoso (DOP).
Utilizing powerful mobile equipment and years of expertise, we captured the hidden gems of villages, cities and ancient temples across Cambodia.
These dreams revealed in the film are portrayed in a child’s way, diving into a fantasy world mixed with reality.
The surreal elements are supported by animation in some scenes, including a wise talking buffalo.
Although many of the issues in the film have a heavy tone, there is an overwhelming sense of humour and happiness, reflective of Cambodians’ love for life.
The film explores our yearning to be respected, appreciated and loved, to find someone who will take you in their arms and hold on to you forever.
Taking a convoy of mini vans loaded with crew from America, Mexico and Cambodia plus the children cross-country was potentially another National Lampoons Vacation.
However what we achieved is nothing short of magical.
All the children, most of whom had never been out of Siem Reap, were able to see their country, experience their culture and learn something that will forever change their perspectives, memories of a lifetime.