5 Reasons Why Short Films Matter

Those of you who have known me personally, may be familiar with how “much” I have promoted short films so far. Some of you may be then wondering why. Below are my reasons, although I believe other filmmakers or producers may find more!

  1. Short Films Serve As Your Career Spring Boards

Believe it or not, before I got involved in the film industry, I thought I’d simply work on a 9-to-5 job. Thus, I can save up and use those savings to found my feature film production. As fate has it, only in 2009 did I meet Davy CHOU. Then, I realized all it took for me now was to make a short film with a passionate team. Two memorable results sprang from that venture: Twin Diamonds and the Golden Re-Awakening of Cambodian Cinema in the 1960s-70s Exhibition. Needless to say, the same year saw the foundation of film collective, Kon Khmer Koun Khmer. Ever since, I was elected to lead the team for several years.

 Front Poster
Twin Diamonds – short film series – poster
  1. Short Films Test Your Commitment and Passion

Over years of my film experience, I have seen and worked with many varied filmmakers. Of those wannabes, a few quit half-way, not because I stop seeing them. But no new work has ever been created or even publicized. As such, I’d say some would make short films only for instantaneous cash prizes. When they can’t win any (more), they switch to another job or hobby. Is it their fault? No, it’s just that time tries their commitment and passion through film-related “challenges”!

Are You Lost or Found?!
  1. Short Films Prepare You for Bigger Games

Have you watched this world’s acclaimed “Whiplash“? This is just one of the many valid examples of how a short filmmaker turns into a feature filmmaker over time. Some Hollywood cast also rise from their small roles in short films or TV series. After winning twice from Chaktomuk Short Film Festival, NETH Inrasothythep is now co-directing a feature horror movie for a leading local production. And some of our winners like LY POlen has built his momentum from his festival accolades to even bigger projects on the international stage!

May be an image of 1 person
Thep, interviewed on set of the Tenant.
Image Source: WML+ Facebook Page
  1. Short Films Connects You with Like Minds

Outside of our festival, I managed to work with a few promising filmmakers like OUCH Makara. He showcased his debuts in our first two editions of our festival. Later, I (co-)produced with him, Koh Ker the Lost Wonder, The Lock, and currently, a series of documentaries for a Siem Reap-based organization. From my years with Kon Khmer Koun Khmer, KEO Kounila has been working with us on a couple of communication campaigns. The latest of which featured short film production and training, conducted near Prey Lang.

Polen probing his students near Preay Lang, about childhood stories
  1. Short Films Feed You!

Here comes the most practical part, you bet! I’m not saying you only make short films just for your craving. But you can always turn them into services, if not business. Let’s take two examples of our 2019 CSFF Finalists, CHAN Sinet and SENG Thy. They have respectively turned to short documentaries and educational videos, just through this uncertain time. Also, let’s say real estate remains the most profitable. So why not make short videos for property business? This way, you could both maintain your passion while earning income from another business. Truth is, I’m now incubating this kind of services with a few real estate experts!

A scence of a commercial short film I produced last year at DancingRains

Simply put, short films should NOT make you short-sighted! In contrast, these level you up, test your guts, profile you up, links you up, and, of course, finance your living. This latter can happen, only if you keep your personal agenda aside! So if you’re already making a new short film and reading this post, consider submitting it to CSFF this year. As you can see, your work can go beyond our own platform(s). And your career expectations may be met, if you have the courage to do it now!

PS: Do check out our submission trailer below, made by our Production Head, SAN Lynareach!

When you “see” your inner voices…

It was another Saturday. So I felt like watching a cartoon with my nephew and nieces, at Legend Cinema – TK Avenue, the nearest to our house. I found the trailer of “Inside Out” so interesting that I was going to see the whole animation: emotions acting their parts!

Short to Long
When I first got in the hall, short music animation “Lava” confused me that they must be playing a wrong movie. Little did I learn it was a totally inspiring bonus. It seems applicable for local movies, as I’ve been a lot involved in short film production myself, especially the content from Chaktomuk Short Film Festival!

Internal Battles
I must appreciate the chosen theme as unexploited. Very few movies or even animations humanize our feelings. Also, both internal and external fights grow both Joy (the dominant emotion) & Riley (the human subject). After going through the entire session, you’ll realize life needs not only to be “fun” all the time!

Unlikely Switches
Yet, what I found a bit annoying was how some scenes were edited as it required me to digest the internal and external changes, one after another. I thought why not split the screen between those scenes! I could experience some vertigo through those frequent switches.


Rating: 07/10

Play the Games of Your Life

Initially, I didn’t find any interest in this action comedy until Bong Sok Visal told me it was developed from a short animation. So last Sunday afternoon was the lazy time to enjoy this movie with my nephew at Major Cineplex by Cellcard.

Good People, Bad Things
If you want to understand why bad things happen to good people, “Pixels” mainly portray the reason behind the failure of our main character. He was an honest and passionate gamer. Yet, he was not as smart and cunning as his opponent back at his young age. “Luckily”, he only gains his confidence after the truth is revealed.

Short Film, Long Future
It is probably one of the best examples about short film benefits. The original animation was released in 2010 for 02 minutes and collected a remarkable award. After all, one thing leads to another. That’s how our Chaktomuk Short Film Festival has come into the picture! If you submit your short to us now, who knows it can be a feature hit like this one?!

Mysterious Aliens
I’m not sure if it’s usual in a story to not disclose the physical identities of the villains. All I could see was game characters, sent by those aliens to harm the world. I hope the other audience won’t have a hard time relating to this characterization like me!


Personal Rating: 08/10