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!