2018 Fellini Winner Kwok Keong
A budding photographer yearns to do hard-hitting journalism just like her late father until she lands the opportunity to cover the 2008 elections in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the very place where her father was brutally murdered while on assignment just a decade earlier.
I’m new to the screenwriting but have been working as a commercial director and cinematographer/photographer for almost a decade. I’m naturally drawn to write drama/thrillers, often based on or inspired by true stories I learn of as I travel the world for work and inspiration. This screenplay, KARMA, was inspired by a dinner meeting in Tokyo that lead me to research the stories of late Japanese journalists: Mika Yamamoto, Kenji Goto and Kenji Nagai. I set the film in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which I had come to know well during the filming of BEFORE THE FALL (2015), for which I was the Director of Photography, and which was Cambodia’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film to the 89th Academy Awards. At the time, I had been intrigued by the Japanese sense of shame, how different it is to the Western viewpoint, and the lengths the Japanese can go to, to avert or atone for their shame, so much so that it can become one’s ambition or a quest in life.
My most recent screenplay, CANANG, (www.canangmovie.com
) was written in Bali, Indonesia, and is inspired by the life of former fashion model and heroin addict turned Ibogaine addiction treatment advocate, Shea Prueger. And prior to this, I spent the 2017 winter in Tbilisi, Georgia, where I wrote, GEORGIAN CHRONICLES, (www.georgianchronicles.com
), a story inspired by Alexandra Elbakyan, the Kazakh graduate student who Nature magazine in 2016 named one of the ten most important people in science for pirating over five million research papers and sharing them with the world on a website called Sci-hub for free.
I’m very grateful to have discovered screenwriting, it’s a special creative outlet that allows me to tell the stories that inspire me, that I can do all by myself, and hope that they eventually become films that matter. I do hope to find representation and hope that the exposure through this wonderful platform founded by Gordy Hoffman helps.