CTFF 2019 Official Selection: In the Life of Music

In the Life of Music
2018 | Narrative | International | 92 min | Khmer, English subtitles | Long Beach Premiere!

  • On August 15th, 2019. The Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee selected ‘In the Life Music’ to represent the country of Cambodia in the 92nd  Academy Awards in 2020.

Screening: Saturday, September 14th, 12pm at Art Theatre Long Beach
Follow by Q&A with Filmmakers.
This film is our Opening Film so it will be screened after our Opening Ceremony and after one short film.


Synopsis: In the Life of Music is a powerful intergenerational tale that explores love, war, and a family’s relationship to: ‘Champa Battambang,’ made famous by Sinn Sisamouth (The King of Cambodian Music). Exploring three different decades, it depicts the lives of people whose world is inevitably transformed by the emergence of the Khmer Rouge Regime. (official website: www.inthelifeofmusic.com)

Directed by: Caylee So, Sok Visal
Produced by: Neardey Trinh, Caylee So, praCh Ly
Associate Producer: Johnny Mam
Written by: Dane Styler, Caylee So
Edited by: Frank Martinez
Music Composed by: Gavin Keese
Sound Design by: Yu-Ting Su
Cinematography by: David D. Rivera Rojas
VXF Supervisor: Sina San
Colorist: Scott Bradbury
Cast: Vandarith Phem, Sreynan Chea, Roza Las, Thouna Kanika, Arn Chorn-Pond, Ratanak Ben, Ellen Wong, Sovuthy Ker, Cheat Sovannareach, Bopha Som, Chandanich Kouy, Small World Small Band

Writer, Producer, Director: Caylee So

Caylee So, was born in Khao-I-Dang, a refugee camp along the Cambodia-Thai border in 1981. Like many families, Caylee and her family immigrated to the United States to find a better life soon after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Settling down in Northern Virginia, she was a quiet child searching for a sense of place and belonging. At 18 she left home and joined the U.S. Army to explore a bigger world. Through that journey, she escaped the world around her by watching films, and by happenstance came across a compelling movie which sparked her interest in being a filmmaker.

Director: Sok Visal

Sok Visal (1971, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) first worked in advertising and graphic design as a creative director. He later began his career in film as the founder of his production company 391 Films in 2009. In 2013, he made his first feature film, GEMS ON THE RUN, a gangster comedy, which was co-directed by Quentin Clausin. In 2015, he re-established his production company under the name 802AD Productions.

Starring: Ellen Wong

Ellen Wong is an internationally acclaimed, SAG and ACTRA award nominated actress from Toronto, Canada. Her career began after a global casting search landed her the breakout role of Knives Chau in Universal Studios’ cult classic Scott Pilgrim VS The World. Ellen is currently playing Jenny Chey (aka Fortune Cookie) on Netflix’s Golden Globe and Emmy Nominated show GLOW, which hails from executive producer Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black). Ellen has been cast in numerous other TV shows and films, including her starring role as “Jill Chen” on CW’s Carrie Diaries, along with a recent turn in Audience Network’s Condor. Most recently, Ellen headlined the independent Cambodian film In The Life of Music, which won the Audience Award at the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival. Ellen is currently an Ambassador for TIFF’s Share Her Journey, a campaign dedicated to fighting for gender equality in the film and television industry. She also a Committee Member of the Cambodia Town Film Festival and The Haing S. Ngor Foundation.