Enemies of the People Wins Again!

On 19th September the Screen South supported documentary Enemies of the People, directed by Oxford-based film director Rob Lemkin and Cambodian co-director Teth Sambath, won the Grand Prix at the Batumi International Film Festival in Georgia. The award is the latest accolade the film has collected, as well as the World Cinema Special Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in February.

Enemies of the People provides unique first-hand accounts of the genocide perpetrated by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouges under the rule of Pol Pot, better known as ‘The Killing Fields’ following Roland Joffé’s 1984 Oscar® winning film. Over a period spanning several years, journalist and co-director Thet Sambath set out to meet the people who committed the atrocities, and little by little was able to develop a remarkable relationship with ‘Brother Number Two’ Nuon Chea. This ultimately lead to some unique confessions from the former ideological leader, now 83.

Having secured Lottery funding from Screen South towards completion, together with mentoring support from award winning director and Screen South board member Jack Gold, Enemies of the People was subsequently awarded two further post-production grants from the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund and the Sundance Documentary Program.

The film also won Best Documentary at the 25th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where the film also received the Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award, awarded to a documentary film that addresses social justice issues.

On winning the award, co-director Rob Lemkin said: ‘This award is a great honour and we hope it helps us to reach the widest audience possible with our story. It was a very difficult film to make and we’d like to thank Screen South for their sustained and important support throughout.’

Jack Gold adds: ‘Rob and his team deservedly win this fantastic prize. It is a credit to their patience, perseverance, integrity and film making skills.’

Praised for its groundbreaking and cinematic qualities, Enemies of the People is produced and directed by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath, executive produced by Sandra Whipham and edited by Stefan Ronowicz with a score by Daniel Pemberton.

The film received its World Premiere in competition at IDFA in Amsterdam in November last year where it was nominated for Best Documentary and was voted among the top 10 in the Audience Awards. Since screening at Sundance, the film has received a huge amount of attention from the international press and the number of requests to screen the film is high as the United Nations-backed trials of the Khmer Rouge are now underway.

Enemies of the People is the latest in a long line of award-winning documentaries which have received support from Screen South, reminding us once again of the wealth of film making talent based in the South East region.

Screen South CEO Jo Nolan comments: ‘Screen South is committed to support talented and passionate documentary filmmakers like Rob. It is fantastic to see the international industry and audience recognise the importance and value of this with this world class seal of approval’.

Screen South Chairman Graham Benson concludes: 'We're absolutely delighted that this fine film has been given such a tremendous accolade by Sundance. It illustrates the value and significance of our mentoring at Screen South. Jack Gold's input was invaluable to the young film makers.'

For more details about the film visit the website: www.enemiesofthepeoplemovie.com or visit the film's Facebook page.