Visiting Professor at the DMC, RUPP, Cambodia

Visual Cultures: Cambodian Cinematic Language Lecture Series by Dr. LinDa Saphan will be held on Thursdays from February 15 to May 2, 2024.

[Webinar] The Films of Uong Kanthouk (Citta)

This webinar spotlights the films of Uong Citta, previously known as Uong Kanthouk. Dr. LinDa Saphan will discuss Uong’s remarkable journey with filmmaking along with that of other Cambodian female directors from the early era. We will look at several of Uong’s films. In Thavary Meas Bong Uong clearly set herself apart as a filmmaker with this drama by diving deep into her characters’ obsessions and unrequited love. Additionally, we will take a look at Mouy Meun Alay, where Uong pushed her scriptwriting and directorial skills further by depicting the trauma of war. While the film industry traditionally favored films about magical fantasy worlds, Uong chose to depict the war’s impacts on the individual level, thereby reflecting what the country was experiencing. Her last film Pel Del Trov Youm is her love letter to the film industry and to her muse, Vichara Dany. This film is a unique meta-narrative that centers on the dynamics and blurry line between personal and professional life in the film business.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Saphan Awarded Fulbright U.S. Scholar Fellowship

“Representation matters, and I hope that seeing a Cambodian woman secure such a distinguished grant will encourage young women—especially my students—to continue on to graduate school and pursue careers in research.”

Streenotes 29 New York City in Transformation

"New York City in Transformation," edited by LinDa Saphan and Jennifer M. Pipitone, profiles urban transformations in New York City, broadly defined and ranging from mundane daily rhythms of the city to the extraordinary. Together, nine academic and artistic selections highlight the myriad ways in which urban transformations can take place: at varying scales and speeds; at varying levels of visibility; and at the hands of different stakeholders, actors, and agents of change.

Click here to access the journal

Streetnotes 29 cover

Faded Reels Book Launch July 30 2022

A movie premiere style book launch for the first book on Cambodian early Cinema. The DMC team did a fantastic job at organizing a beautiful events at the Prime Cineplex Samai Square in Phnom Penh. A grandiose book launch attended by the movie industry people.



There was a need to document the contribution of early Cambodian cinema and its recent revival as an art form from Cambodians in the homeland and in the diaspora. Hence Dr. LinDa Saphan recent work focuses on Cambodia’s visual and popular culture of the early years of Cambodian cinema Faded Reels: The Art of Four Cambodian Filmmakers 1960-1975 will be published in July 2022 in English and in Khmer by the Royal University of Phnom Penh, department of Media and Communication. The book covers the early history of Cambodian cinema and focuses on four directors: Ly Bun Yim, Tea Lim Koun, Yvon Hem, and Uong Citta (aka Kanthouk).

Faded Reels: The Art of Four Cambodian Filmmakers, 1960-1975 brings to light the essential contributions to world cinema made by Cambodia’s greatest pre war directors: Ly Bun Yim, Tea Lim Koun, Yvon Hem, and Uong Citta (Kanthouk). With in-depth plot summaries, stunning screenshots, and discussions of 16 rare Cambodian films, this book gives readers access to a largely undocumented period of Southeast Asian film history. A Cambodian cinema history for movie lovers and film scholars alike, Faded Reels includes detailed scene descriptions that feature the technical craftsmanship, innovation, complex storytelling, compelling characters, and beautiful cinematography of each director, while situating their biographies in the socio-cultural context of Cambodian history. Highlights include an exclusive interview with director Uong Citta, and chapters focusing on key films such as The Snake Man, The Twelve Sisters Story, Sovannahong, and Thavary Meas Bong. Extensively researched, this first analysis of the early Cambodian films is an addition to global cinema.


Dreams for Our Children: Immigrant Letters to the Future

Dream for Our Children: Immigrant Letters to the Future.

LinDa Saphan contributed a piece "What's in a Name?" The story behind the meaning of her name and her personal journey to reclaim my cultural heritage and identity through a letter written to her 10 year old daughter.

This book project was created during the lockdown and it is quite an uplifting project from immigrants sharing their experiences and stories.

The book can be purchased at Barnes and Nobles;jsessionid=7B9E411C856474DD9B4FFCD80D544C53.prodny_store01-atgap06?ean=2940166244956


Webinar: Cambodia's Golden Voices Legacies

January 28th, 2022 8am (eastern time)

Dr LinDa Saphan from the sociology department will be hosting a webinar organized by The Center for Khmer Studies (CKS), The New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN), and The Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) on Cambodian prewar musical influences.

Wonder how House of the Rising Sun by The Animals sounds in Khmer? Curious how surf guitar and Ennio Morricone played a part of Cambodian musical heyday? Tune in on January 28 at 8am eastern time by registering on the link below:

Chaktomuk Short Film Festival

Jury member for 2021 Chaktomuk Short Film Festival

What an amazing line up! This year submission was extraordinary for its high quality production value, rising stars and upcoming directors.


For more information on the film festival:

Dr. Saphan quoted in the New York Times

Overlooked No More: Sinn Sisamouth, ‘King’ of Cambodian Pop Music by Mike Ives published Sept. 9, 2021

“When it came to singing technique, Sinn Sisamouth was king,” Prince Panara Sirivudh, a member of the Cambodian royal family, said in the documentary. “His voice was so beautiful, and he wrote very sweet songs.”  Popular Western music was imported to Cambodia as early as the 1940s by the royal palace and by Cambodians who could afford to travel to Europe, and the country’s rock ’n’ roll scene began in earnest in the 1950s, according to a study by LinDa Saphan, the associate producer of the documentary and a professor of sociology at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York City.  The sound blended high-pitched, operatic singing with the distorted electric guitar solos that were popular in American music at the time.  Sinn Sisamouth became representative of this new style because he had an ability to write both ballads and upbeat rock songs, Saphan wrote, but the voices of Ros Serey Sothea and other female vocalists on his recordings were the “final touch that made this Cambodian mix so enticing.”

Early in his career, Sinn Sisamouth was invited to perform with Cambodia’s royal ballet; he appeared in dapper suits and bow ties, his hair combed back. He also traveled overseas — to India, Hong Kong and beyond — with a traditional band formed by the queen’s son, Norodom Sihanouk, a composer and saxophonist (and future king) who played a major role in developing the country’s cultural industries in the postcolonial era.  It was a hopeful time in Cambodia’s history: The country had achieved independence from France in 1953 and was shaping its identity and culture.  As Sinn Sisamouth’s popularity grew, his former neighbors in the countryside marveled at hearing his songs on the radio. Some referred to him as “golden voice” or the “Elvis of Cambodia.”  “A medical student — how can he sing?” the villagers said at the time, his sister recalled in the documentary.  He met Ros Serey Sothea when she was 17 at the national radio station and recorded with her for more than a decade.  Though they were never romantically involved, “their musical conversations were love stories filled with a sense of yearning and despair, of palpable loss, yet holding out the possibility of reconciliation,” Saphan wrote.

00overlooked-Sisamouth-superJumbo To read the full article click here