I caught up with Khmer film director Tim Pek, just before the release of his first feature film, The Red Sense. Born in Cambodia's second city of Battambang, Pek and his family moved to Australia to begin a new life in 1988 and after developing a passion for art, he became a graphic designer of some note in Melbourne before unexpectedly becoming exposed to film production for the first time when he took a small part in a short film. The Red Sense, or Vignean Krohom in Khmer, is the result of Pek's new found passion for film-making.
Q. What's the movie about, and how close is it to completion? A. The core of this movie is about the lifestyle of the victim's daughter Melear, the son of the murder and the murderer all living abroad, and the problem needs to be solved. You can say its a sequel to the Killing Fields or a shockwave from the Killing Fields. We are working hard on public release in late 2006 or January 2007. The film can be seen in Cambodian cinemas, selected Australian cinemas, but we are still seeking an overseas distribution network. For more details, including a trailer, please check the movie's website at Theredsensemovie.com. Initially the film was made for short film festivals, now the approx length is 1hour 20mins.
Q. Did you experience any difficulties in filming in Cambodia? A. Filming in Cambodia was superb, the rural sceneries took my breath away, the urban rich plantations and rice fields were beautiful. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or S-21 brought me to tears and confusion, I was speechless while entering each room and looking through those items. Its extremely captivative and inspired me to explore the past - our next generation should be better then the last. However, I never thought I would be lucky enough to capture such footage from Cambodia, as you know working on a shoestring budget what could I expect, but I am very content with what I have achieved.