Written by: Davy Chou
As you may know I’ve been involved for the last few years in Cambodian film industry, and namely with the company I co-founded here, Anti-Archive, which has been producing several films in Cambodia since 2014, and whose goal is to stimulate the emergence of a new generation of Cambodian independent and art-house filmmakers, who would have the courage to embrace Cambodia contemporary reality and to develop their unique perspective on it.
Last August, I was in Malaysia to mentor a film workshop, and impressed by the fantastic collaborative vibe of the young team there, I asked filmmaker and workshop director Tan Chui Mui how she could create and keep such vibe. She simply answered that her idea was to always offer to each of her intern the possibility to direct their own short film, even for a very small amount of money.
That discussion brought back to me this very simple and old idea: everything always starts by a first short film. But there is often no money out there to produce those short films by first-time directors, and especially not in Cambodia. And most importantly, when you are not given the chance, you sometime can’t even think and believe that you can actually make one.
This is the starting point of the new project I’m launching today and for which I’m inviting you to consider being part of: ECHOES FROM TOMORROW, Three short films by first-time Cambodian directors - Meas Sreylin, San Danech and Tith Kanitha.
There were three women who were involved on nearly each film we have produced with Anti-Archive, but they were never given that chance to write and direct their own film. That’s what we would like to change by producing the first short film of each of them, and by providing them a space to feel fully free to express their visions.
I’ve been working closely with each of them, and owe them so much: Meas Sreylin was the assistant director on my short Cambodian 2099, and the acting coach of Diamond Island, and God knows the performance my actors eventually delivered was largely due to her extraordinary sensitivity. San Danech was my casting assistant on Diamond Island, and we endlessly drove together on the streets of Phnom Penh for 4 months, looking to all faces and speaking to frightened teenagers to find our cast. Danech is now working on all Anti-Archive projects as production coordinator. Artist Tith Kanitha is of course very close to me, and has been instrumental and inspiring in every artistic project I’ve been involved in for the last years; recently, her work as artistic director on Diamond Island allowed me to fully bring my vision on screen.
It’s time for giving back. We are launching today an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, aiming to raise $15,000 for the three shorts before 20 December, which is in… 15 days only!
I’m not asking for support for any project. I do it only when I consider it’s really needed. This is the case. I would like to ask for your support in contributing to this campaign and help make this project come true. Even a small amount would mean a lot for us, because that's how we will be able to reach our target. Cambodian cinema is at a very exciting moment and I strongly believe that Lin, Danech and Kanitha could play a part in it in the future. But they need this chance to make their first film to prove it.
Here is the link to the project with detail info on each director and each film:
You are of course very welcome to share it around.
I hope you will join us in this new journey, I thank you in advance for this, and I hope we’ll make together three beautiful and unique films!