As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, we did manage to coordinate one final interview with Aki Ra. Because Aki Ra is very busy with his new demining team, we had a very limited window of time to pull this off. Combining the productive power of Skype, a carefully planned and organized question list, and the sheer determination and confidence of Uy Serimony (aka “Tom”, our translator), we were able to pull it off. Now, we are awaiting translation of the two-hour interview addressing holes in our current cut of the film.
To complete this interview successfully in two very different hemispheres and timezones, I awoke last weekend at 4:30am in Chicago and called Tom, our translator, in Cambodia. We completed a final sound check and reviewed the questions. Aki Ra arrived on time and at 6pm Saturday evening (5am Chicago time) the interview began. With a pair of headphones and a wireless internet connection using Skype, I listened to the entire interview as Tom questioned Aki Ra on key moments of his life, and how he had changed during the years leading up to the opening of his museum and afterwards.
The following morning, Tom returned to Phnom Penh to work on translation. Meanwhile Aki Ra returned to demining, and the digital recordings were transported overseas with producer, Richard Fitoussi as he returned to Canada. I just spoke with Tom this morning, and he is about halfway through the translation and will be emailing it to me by Thursday of this week.
David Boodell and the rest of the Year Zero Team are excited to see the results of the interview, and I look forward to passing on more information as soon as I have it. Thanks for your continued interest and take care!