Hanuman Films Blog

A proven track record of production success in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and across the Southeast Asia region

Unwind at Samahita Retreat on Ko Samui

Hanuman Films recently joined up with Lonely Planet to produce a series of short videos for a new Healthy Holidays microsite.

 

You’ve already seen the Move video at the new Flight of the Gibbon Angkor zipline experience in Siem Reap, and the Grow video, showcasing the good cause Helping Hands Cooking School in Bangkok, also known as Cooking With Poo. Today we bring you Unwind, introducing Samahita Retreat, a yoga and wellness centre located on the southern tip of Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. Established in 2003 by yoga teacher Paul Dallaghan, the name Samahita is translated from Sanskrit as “centered” or “balanced”. Revitalise and reinvigorate yourself through a tailor-made programme of yoga, breathing, massage and diet to find that balance within a busy life.

 

 

Visit the microsite here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/campaigns/healthy-holidays/

Lonely Planet Flight of the Gibbon Angkor Video

Nick Ray and the Hanuman Films team recently joined up with Lonely Planet to produce a series of short videos for a new Healthy Holidays microsite.

 

Three themes are explored, including Grow at the good cause Helping Hands Cooking School in Bangkok and Unwind at the Samahita Retreat on Ko Samui. The third of the trilogy is Move and features the new Flight of the Gibbon Angkor, a real adrenaline buzz in the jungle canopy near Siem Reap. The Hanuman Films crew was the first to film the fully open course with its 10 ziplines up and running, including a ‘honeymoon’ tandem line, rope bridges, a treehouse and an abseil descent.

 

Be sure to experience Flight of the Gibbon Angkor as part of a stay in Siem Reap. The temples are one of the world’s most magnificent sights, but adrenaline activities like this are the perfect way to balance the spiritual side of things.

 

 

Visit the microsite here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/campaigns/healthy-holidays/

Lonely Planet Videos: Helping Hands Cooking School in Bangkok

Nick Ray and the Hanuman Films team recently joined up with Lonely Planet to produce a series of short videos for a new Healthy Holidays microsite.

 

Three themes are explored, including  and Unwind at the Samahita Retreat on Ko Samui and Move at the Flight of the Gibbon Angkor in Siem Reap.  The third of the films is Grow and features the good cause Helping Hands Cooking School in Bangkok. Also known as Cooking With Poo, this is one of the most popular culinary experiences on offer in Thailand. Limited to just 10 participants each day, guests explore the huge Klong Toey wet market for fresh produce before moving to Poo’s classroom to learn the secrets of the Thai kitchen.

 

 

Visit the microsite here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/campaigns/healthy-holidays/

 

Prizewinning ‘Ruin’ reviewed on Cine Vue website

Hanuman Films’ international co-production ‘Ruin’ won the SPECIAL ORIZZONTI JURY PRIZE at the 2013 Venice Film Festival. Read this review from Cine Vue.

Ruin, prizewinner at the Venice Film Festival, a Hanuman Films co-production

Ruin, prizewinner at the Venice Film Festival, a Hanuman Films co-production

Showing in the Orizzonti sidebar at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Ruin (2013) is by turns a gritty and dazzling lovers-on-the-run tale set in modern day Cambodia. Directed by Michael Cody and Amiel Courtin-Wilson, the film tells the story of two of society’s worst-off down-and-outs. Sang Malen plays Sovanna, a young prostitute who is beaten and mistreated by her pimp when she feigns illness to escape work. She manages to escape, but Phnom Penh – and Cambodia, for that mater – is no place for a young girl on her own. Fortunately she meets Phirun (Rous Mony), an aggressive young local factory worker.

A vague spark of affection is ignited and Phirun promises to shelter the girl, but following a murder they are forced to flee the city and look to survive on the road. The obvious model here is Terrence Malick’s 1973 classic Badlands, with moments of down-to-earth social realism in the first half giving way to images of occasionally breathtaking beauty as the two retreat further up the river and into the jungle. The score, courtesy of Steve Benwell, creates a suitably tense soundscape and super-slow motion shots of fire and water boldly complement the filmmakers’ ambition that the lovers be regarded as something elemental and powerful. After all, Sovanna and Phirun have been utterly brutalised by the world around them.

Sovanna in particular feels constantly endangered in an environment where sexual predation seems to be the norm. A violent encounter with a ‘client’ is shown at length, though Ruin never wallows in the degradation meted out to her, and she is never the passive victim – striking out on several occasions. The relationship between Sovanna and Phirun is natural and easy, and it’s no great surprise to discover that much of the Cody and Courtin-Wilson’s intimate drama was improvised. The duo enjoy a moment of oasis-like calm in a hotel room paid for with money they’ve stolen, unused to the comforts and luxuries of clean sheets, television and toothpaste.

And yet, our bruised and battered pair are not straightforwardly heroic. The exterior world is against them, but they too are capable of reprehensible cruelty. Morally complex, Cody and Courtin-Wilson have made a remarkably ambitious and assured film (although this is Cody’s debut feature, Courtin-Wilson also directed 2011’s Hail) which feels like a refreshing new take on a now-familiar tale. Ruin ultimately manages to find a successful way out from the tired clichés of the premise, delivering an off-the-beaten-track journey of commendable artistic and poetic vision.

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