Denis Do

France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Cambodia, 2018, dcp, 86:

In French and English with Slovenian subtitles


In 1975 in Phnom Penh, Chou leads an enchanted life until one morning when the Khmer Rouge madness plunges Cambodia into horror. The population is deported to camps and Chou’s confronted with the pain of powerlessness. When her 4-year-old son is snatched from her by a fleeing crowd, her world falls apart but she never loses hope. Funanis the incredibly powerful story of a young mother’s fight to save her son and keep her family together in a barbaric time.


Directed by: Denis Do

Written by: Denis Do, Magali Pouzol, Elise Trinh 

Art director: Michael Crouzat

Animation: Emilie Nhils Almaida, David Bols

Music: Thibault Agyeman

Editing: Laurent Prim

Voices: Bérénice Béjo, Louis Garrel

Producers: Sébastien Onomo, David Grumbach, Annemie Degryse, Louise Génis Cosserat, Justin Stewart

Production: Les Films d'Ici, Epuar, Bac Cinema, Lunamine

Distribution in Slovenia: FIVIA – Vojnik


The story told in Funan unfolds in Cambodia immediately after the Khmer Rouge seizure of power on 17 April 1975. An authoritarian state is brought forth. The revolution is brutal and justice is forsaken, transforming the country into the communist idea of a perfect society. Paranoia grows, like in any autocratic state, leading to the killing of those considered to be traitors. This takeover and this revolution crushed the hopes carried by the preceding rebirth of the Cambodian culture, its economy and industry. A golden era suddenly turned into the darkest nightmare.


Funan is the story of a family. Of a woman... My mother. [...]

I’ve chosen animation as it is a passion of mine. But I also prefer to see my mother drawn rather than played by a real actress, because that implies more universality. The heroine of Funan is Cambodian, but first and foremost a woman. A mother.

Animation is an ideal medium to captivate the audience by giving them perspective from reality. The film is realistic while preserving space for interpretation. In subtle ways, it will provoke, and evoke.

- Denis Do


Awards (selection):

- Cristal for Best Feature Film, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, 2018

- Best Sound Design and Best Writing in a Feature Film Production, Emile Awards 2018

- Grand Prize and the Audience Award, Animation Is Film Festival, Los Angeles, 2018

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