9 Main Lessons from My 2019

Another year has passed us by, hasn’t it? Yet, 2019 hasn’t gone away without any remarkable takeaway for my life. I hope my shared lessons could benefit your path, if you are now reading my occasional blog post! Trust me you will learn more in-depth than from my social media posts in the year 😉

1- Scorpions Stink

Have you ever argued against someone so hard that they even blocked your call? Despite your attempts to mend that hot argument, you could only follow that person’s Facebook updates. Funnily, on one fine day, that person came back and asked you for advice about his financial crisis. Out of guilt, you thought you could share the loan with that person as to relieve his burden. Result, they’ve run away for good, leaving you responsible for the full amount! The story twist is, he also treated other people around you the same way!

Photo by Kelsey Dody on Unsplash

Takeaway: Ask yourself twice or do your due diligence before you exercise your kindness to a suspect. Or this becomes oblivion or naivety instead.

2- Opportunities May Come to Us Unexpected, If…

As usual, I have always set up my dream boards with Mastermind Club as our yearly goals to look up to and achieve. Not all my travel destinations were completed. Instead, I took my small family to Singapore and Malaysia with our larger one. Besides, I was given the chance to attend TIFF in Japan and CSFF in China, almost out of the blue!

TIFF 2019 Programming Workshop – Tokyo, Japan

Takeaway: Set your goals, but also seize relevant opportunities because they may not come round.

3- Yogic Meditation Does Wonders

It was only till mid-November that I realize I needed yoga, often recommended by a Mastermind, Vanna. Despite multiple variations of yogic practices, RajaYoga only requires you to reflect on your spirituality and meditate with your eyes open (or optionally closed). As far as my skepticism could go, the real deal was more and more positive phenomena happening to and around me. For instance, my boss decided to have me focus on my main skill at work, as I long requested. Also, a huge business opportunity finally popped up, as I long expected.

Takeaway: You may not need yoga now. But what you need everyday is self-reflection and self-belief in your next endeavors.

4- The Less Expected, The Freer to Feel

Of 3/4 of last year, I spent so much time caring about small details that my follow-ups with co-workers intimidated their performance. Only in the last phase of our festival did I learn to keep calm and cool, no matter what happened. We lastly all agreed to do our best to make the 8th edition better, if not ‘best’. What turns out was a considerable improvement of audience number and positive feedback from our stakeholders.

Takeaway: If you learn to calm yourself down to cope with adversities, you should empower your colleagues to do the same.

5- Life Doesn’t Have to Be Linear

After quitting PuPrum, I thought I could freelance or even reset up my movie business for good. Yet, due to my varied side commitments between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, I could only wait for confirmation of prospects and investors to close our deals until August. Yet, my small family is growing with steady ‘investments’ – if not expenses- in their upbringings. I came to realize it was only fair to them for me to land back on a full-time job. Until when? Who knows?!

Photo by Raphaël Biscaldi on Unsplash

Takeaway: Nobody else takes control over your life. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself alive and your family secure. People’s opinions about your changes don’t matter to your future.

6- Essentialism Breaks Bad Habits

You may tend to have a great deal of friends. But it takes only a friend to change your senseless habits, if you take his shared lesson seriously. That was when I read through ‘Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less’, recommended by Rithy, SmallWorld Founder. To me, his results seemed effortless. I felt so thankful to learn his secret!

Takeaway: Essentialism is not about cutting yourself off people and materials, but about prioritizing only what matters to your life and work.

7- Family (Still) Matters

Have you ever wondered why you burn that midnight oil or toil your way late overnight? Of course, don’t get me wrong as to encourage you to be lazy, as all efforts should echo some results. Yet, I’m here reminding us to take some time off for your loved ones, as well. If you only reunite with them in the evening, make your late hours count for them. If yours live far from you, spare a day or two per week to visit them. I’m sure you come back to work, not just energized, but also complete.

Takeaway: If you lose your work, you may find another one soon enough. If you lose your family time, no amount of money would be enough to make up for that loss.

8- Express Love, but Tame Fear

Although this insight sounds universally redundant, I believe most take it for granted. In the last few months, I’ve learned to love without expectations. I’ve learned to trust the ones I love with all my heart. Still, I keep admitting my insecurity when things go wrong and turn out different from my original plan. Then, I have two choices (or more): 1- To go with the flow (if the change rimes with my inner value) or 2- To accept it, yet communicate my principle (if the change reversed my personal code).

Takeaway: Embrace your fear, without affecting others, then, turn it your productive way.

9- People Should Prevail over Results

This lesson reflects on my experience with leaders I’ve come across so far. I was myself occasionally affected with such result-oriented approach. I learned the hard way that I may lose some (good) people by prioritizing only results. Here, it depends on your personal preference. And I’m neither asserting which one is right or wrong.

Takeaway: Choose your leadership style wisely. By all means, you’ll reap what you have sowed.

On my side/final note, as a movie lover myself, here goes the list of my top 9 movies of 2019 in random order:

1- Avengers Endgame

2- Frozen II

3- Ad Astra

4- Ip Man IV

5- The Clock

6- Marriage Story

7- Star Wars IX

8- Joker

9- John Wick: Chapter 3

I hope you can somehow relate to my happenings in 2019 and that you may have learned as much from some of the movies listed here, too 😉

How did last year go for you? Let me know in your comments (if any)!

Fund Chaktomuk Short Film Festival 2019 for Your Legacies!

Overview

Chaktomuk Short Film Festival (CSFF) has been known as the very first and largest SHORT film festival in Cambodia. At CSFF, we believe it is important for our young filmmakers to start their careers with this kind of accessible and creative content. Since 2012, winners from our festival go on to become internationally acclaimed. This year, we are facing a new challenge, so huge for us to overcome alone. So we are now calling upon your generosity to keep this festival running at its decent pace.

About “Your” Festival

Chaktomuk Short Film Festival (CSFF) has been Cambodia’s largest officially recognized international-grade short film festival since its founding year, 2012. This annual platform for young filmmakers has been established to showcase their creative works without heavy investment to the mass. CSFF’s impact is known to celebrate the culture of short films, in Cambodia for Cambodian youth who love films, to showcase their works, to gain more knowledge about the film industry, and to bridge them with this sector for its improvement and expansion in the future and also for international markets.

CSFF 2019 Needs Your Support.

Exchange of Values and Support

While, in previous years, we rely a lot on private sponsors, this year, confirmation is still under way. Alarmingly, we believe now is the right time for our fans and audience to join us to keep this legacy moving on. 

From our budget plan, the decent amount of funding is approximately $20,000 in total. However, by end of August, we expect some sponsorship to com in. So our target of $10,000is meant to cover mainly the following expenses:

* Outreach campaigns at schools/universities ($2,000),

* Venue setup and management ($3,000), 

* Promotional materials ($3,300), and

* Partially, award to our winners this year ($1,700). 

Our perks range from simply fancy opening and closing invitations to sacred handcrafted statues as Vishnu and Buddha. The more you chip in, the more worthy you feel about yourself and your support to our festival and winning filmmakers. 

Even if this campaign fails to reach our target amount, we are going to still use the collected funds, with necessary costs, with proportionate scale-down, yet with similar efficiency. 

CSFF Closing with our Champion and Finalists

The Impact

In the past 7 years, below is what we have achieved, among others: 

  • Empowered  over 500 young volunteers to lead our film activities;
  • Mobilized over 200 local youth to make/produce their (first) short films;
  • Trained over 500 participants in making short films (fiction/documentary), through FilmCamps;
  • Screened over 400 titles out of 4,000 entries, from Cambodia and other parts of the world.

So your contribution, either small or huge, will keep – if not, increase – the momentum of our annual film movement, not only for local, but also international filmmakers.  

Chaktomuk Film Insight 2016 in Battambang

Only Returns, but No Risk for you

Actually, our fundraising has been launched rather to bridge our financial gap, which means we are already securing some amount from a few sponsors/partners. So your support will complete what we are lacking – if not, waiting for. Of course, we can save you from this risk by returning you the perks we’ve promised in this campaign. 

Truth is, this is not our first time to crowdfund a project/event. We had a good experience raising funds for an omnibus series back in 2014, with Pram Ang. Although our online campaign seemed undesirable, we purposely completed this with offline fundraising, alongside! 

Sunflower FilmCamp 2017 – Battambang

Other Ways to Help Us

You want to help us, but have trouble with this platform? Here are your alternatives:

1- ABA – SUNFLOWER FILM ORGANIZATION – 000804814

2- WING/True Money/Other money transfer platforms – 098 559 353

3- Check – issued to: SUNFLOWER FILM ORGANIZATION

4- Cash – contact 098 559 353

And remember to notify us by email or our Page inbox. For sure, feel free to spread your love around your network 🙂 

Why Cambodian Movies Should Not Limit Themselves to Local Theaters

If you start reading this article, thinking of me as a movie expert, stop right here! First, I want you to know that what you’re going through below, is actually from my “pure” experience! Here, I’m not saying that Cambodian past movies are bad or not worth “exporting”. But let’s try and see things from the edge of our world (if not “wall”)!

1- Exhibitors Rule!

By “exhibitors” here, I meant “movie theaters” or “cinemas” themselves. With all the new titles released every week, local and international, they will only focus on what works best for their income. Are they to blame for their lack of nationalism? Try and put yourselves in their shoes!

2- Theatrical Releases Are A Mere Tip of the Big Iceberg

Here, I don’t disagree that theatrical box office figures somehow determine the returns form other platforms like TV, VOD or ancillary. Come what may, I have already accepted titles with low theatrical turnout, yet bearing big potential profits for non-theatrical rights. How did I know this? My last Filmart experience proved me this phenomenon.

3- Other Platforms Are Claiming their “Rights”

It’s hard to resist the fact that technology has shrunk our screen size to our mobile devices. While the big screens are here to stay, mobile viewing feels more convenient and faster to access these days. So if you were such an online player, you’d do all it takes to secure popular content onto your platform. That is, you’d be willing to even invest in original content so you could control its life, from financing to exhibition!

You may not perceive these realities now. Want it or not, they are coming your way right into the face until you change or adapt. If you think movies know no boundary, artistic or commercial, welcome to the club!