Kalyanee Mam


The 19th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by Stella Artois, is presented to an emerging director on non-union features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Stella Artois.

DIRECTOR: Kalyanee Mam


“Today,” remarks Sav Samourn, “everyone needs land.”

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at Sundance, A River Changes Course tells the story of three families living in contemporary Cambodia as they face hard choices forced by rapid development and struggle to maintain their traditional ways of life as the modern world closes in around them.

In the deep jungles of Cambodia, Sav Samourn and her family depend on the forests for their food and livelihood. But with the encroachment of large companies and the slashing and clearing of forests, Sav Samourn soon discovers there is no room for wild animals and ghosts in the forests she calls home. In a fishing village on the Tonle Sap River, Sari Math is forced to quit school to help support his family. But as the fish catch steadily dwindles, Sari and his family realize their lives as fishermen are changing forever.

In a small village outside of Phnom Penh, Khieu Mok must leave and find work in a garment factory to support her familyʼs mounting debt. But life in the city proves no better and Khieu finds herself torn between her obligations to send money home and her duty to be at home with her family.

From a remote northern jungle, down along the Tonle Sap, to the rice fields in the countryʼs center and the pulsing heart of urban Phnom Penh, the radical changes in Cambodia today are transforming not only the countryʼs landscape – but also the dreams of its people.