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!

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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!

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 🙂 

The 7 short nominees of CSFF 2015

For the last few months, and especially, the last few weeks, I spent most of my time coordinating Chaktomuk Short Film Festival 2015. In that vein, let’s change our mood from feature films like The Martian to short films selected by CSFF this year. I give you now the 7 short nominees of CSFF 2015. While reading this post along, make a guess: which ones won the jury and audience awards?!

CSFF 2015 Nominees

Revive: I found the animation a bit short, which left most audience frustrated of its supposed richness. But the storyline and effects were more than acceptable. Continue reading