Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Diamond Island nominated for multiple awards



Diamond Island nominated for multiple awards

Actor Nuon Sobon (left) plays Bora in Diamond Island, a role for which he was nominated as best male actor by Les Trophées Francophones du Cinéma.
Actor Nuon Sobon (left) plays Bora in Diamond Island, a role for which he was nominated as best male actor by Les Trophées Francophones du Cinéma. Photo supplied

Diamond Island nominated for multiple awards

The critically acclaimed feature film Diamond Island, by French-Cambodian filmmaker Davy Chou, has been nominated for best picture – with a best male actor nomination for Nuon Sobon – by the organisation Les Trophées Francophones du Cinéma.

The annual film awards, scheduled for December, celebrate movies originating in countries that are part of the “Francophonie”, or those with a notable affiliation with French culture.

Chou, who announced the nomination on Facebook yesterday, wrote that he was “proud and grateful” that the film, and Sobon, had received the distinction. Other films nominated for best picture include the French film Divines; La Patrie D’abord from Cameroon; the Lebanese film Tramontane; and Wulu, from Mali.

Diamond Island is an intimate portrait of the life of 18-year-old Bora, played by Sobon, a country boy who moves to Phnom Penh to work on a Koh Pich construction site and is reunited with his mysterious older brother Solei (Nov Cheanick).

For many of the lead roles, including Sobon, Chou opted to forgo seeking professional actors, instead scouring construction sites and the streets of Phnom Penh. For Cheanick, who is otherwise a painter, Chou’s decision was natural, given the actors could relate to the roles and experiences portrayed.

“Davy did not have to create the actor, he just found the real thing. It’s so natural,” Cheanick said.

Sobon was a taxi driver when Chou discovered him, and to date this is his sole on-screen role. He is now a driver and translator for a Chinese garment factory. He said yesterday he was “happy and proud” for himself, his family and his nation when he learned about the nomination.

“I do not think I will win the prize because I am just an amateur, while the others have engaged in [professional acting] far longer,” he said.

The Kampong Speu native – who is the third of five children and was raised by his father, a primary school teacher – only finished grade four and has lived in Phnom Penh since 2014.

“Davy noticed me one day when I was waiting for travellers. He went past me but came back and asked whether I wanted to be in his movie,” he said.

Although surprised by the offer, Sobon agreed, against his family’s suggestion.

He says he wouldn’t be opposed to acting again if approached by a producer, though he notes that, odds are, he will likely remain in his current job.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the