Indus Films for BBC2, 2014
Indus Films of the UK was commissioned by the BBC to produce a landmark series on the Mekong River and Hanuman Films was contacted as the line production company to assist with the four-part series featuring Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China. Hanuman Films line produced the first two episodes in the series covering Vietnam and Laos and provided advice and recommendations for the third episode in Laos.
Popular television presenter Sue Perkins fronted the show and for episode 1 she journeyed from Ho Chi Minh City through the Mekong Delta and into Cambodia. She visited the incredible floating market of Cai Rang and met a survivor of Tuol Sleng Prison before travelling northeast to the majestic temples of Angkor and the Tonle Sap Lake. Sue and the Indus crew spent several days living in the village of Kompong Pluk, learning about fishing techniques and local lifestyles. The great lake is the heartbeat of Cambodia and the incredible rise and fall in its water levels are intimately connected to the rise and fall of the Mekong River. The lake is known to expand to five times its normal area during the wet season, making it a vital source of fish and protein for the Cambodian population.
For episode 2, the focus moved to the wildlife in Cambodia and Sue joined a Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) organised by leading wildlife NGO Wildlife Alliance and the Cambodian government, on a wildlife bust in Koh Kong. She then travelled deep into Mondulkiri Province in the northeast of Cambodia where she visited the Elephant Valley Project (EVP) and learnt about their ecotourism initiatives to protect retired working elephants. In Kratie Province, she encountered rare freshwater dolphins in the Mekong River, as well as the rare Cantor’s Turtle. Finally the team travelled up to Ratanakiri to meet the minority people of this remote province and learn how dams and deforestation might affect their lives as the region develops.
Locations: Mekong Delta, Phnom Penh, Koh Kong, Kompong Pluk, Temples of Angkor, Elephant Valley Project, Kratie, Ratanakiri
Talent: Presenter Sue Perkins, the wildlife of Cambodia