Bophana Showcases Young Filmmakers’ Works

The Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center is featuring the work of young Cambodian filmmakers who, last year, took up the challenge of producing short film segments in one weekend at a remote location.

“The idea was to encourage them to make films with the resources they have instead of planning for big budgets they may never get,” said Sum Sithen, general representative of Kon Khmer Koun Khmer, the group that organized the project.

The films created at the “boot camp” will be screened at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Bophana. Mr. Sithen said that some of them are good enough to turn into feature films.

“What mattered was for them to realize that, if a little film can be made in one afternoon without any prep, then what can they achieve in a month or in a year,” said Japanese filmmaker Masahiro Sugano, who has taught filmmaking at several U.S. universities and was the project coach.

The boot camp took place over a weekend in March 2013.

“Well, ‘a weekend’ is an overstatement,” Mr. Sugano said. “We had [the second half] of the afternoon to film on Rabbit Island after traveling from Phnom Penh. All preps and pre-production were done in the car from Phnom Penh to Kep and during the lunch hour…before boarding the ship to get to the island.

“Post-production or editing happened the very same night and early next morning…. They cut off electricity on Rabbit Island after 9 p.m., so that did not make things easier. But everyone was committed to finishing the short film they were involved in.”

Four film segments produced that weekend will be screened Sunday with the young filmmakers on hand. They will be followed by two short features by young directors Heng Lim and Rin Chhuom Virak.

“Today you can make an entire feature movie in an iPhone. Nothing can stop you if you will it,” Mr. Sugano said. “Whether the film is good or not comes down to the filmmaker’s understanding of the world and the point of view he/she develops.”

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