Industry insiders establish short film making course

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Budding cinematographers experiment with a variety of lenses. SUPPLIED

A shortage of human resources in the Cambodian film industry – and a desire to meet the needs of those interested in working in it – was the reasoning behind the decision of a team of experienced filmmakers’ decision to introduce a four month short film production course.

This short film classes will begin on August 13 and will run until November 27. The sessions will be organised by film producers from the Professional Institution of Cambodia (PIC), in collaboration with the Department of Media and Communication (DMC) of the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

After completing the course, trainees will receive certificates that demonstrate that they understand technical skills in the field of film production, including script writing, production management, directing, camera and lighting techniques and film and color editing. The students will work together to produce a short film, said Ung Bun Y, a trainer and the head of the DMC.

Bun Y has more than 10 years of media training experience at the university and has been working in video production – creating television programmes, documentaries and short films – since 2008. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Journalism from Hong Kong Baptist University and holds a Professional Certificate in Multimedia from the International Press Institute of Germany.

He explained the purpose of the training course and the type of candidates they are hoping to attract.

“There is a shortage of skilled workers in the film industry here, so our team has organised this course. It will give practical skills to people who are passionate about the film industry. In just four months, they will gain the knowledge and skills they need to become short film makers,” he said.

“This course is open to the public, and we will only accept between 15 and 20 trainees for each session. The first course, we will start on August 13th and will cost $495 per person. Trainees can register by calling 502 836/015 456767,” he added.

He said the school will offer a discount for group registration, with a group of three receiving a 15 per cent discount and a group of five earning 20 per cent off their tuition. To encourage more women to enter the industry, female applicants will be entitled to a 20 per cent discount.

The course will be taught by film experts who are all graduates of prestigious universities both here and abroad. All of them have many years of experience in the film industry.

Nhem Piseth, one of the instructors, is a freelance director of short films and documentaries at PIC, and has been working in the field since 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Management from the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Sothea Ines is a video production lecturer at the DMC and a freelance filmmaker. Like Piseth, she graduated from the Royal University. She has been in the industry since 2011.

Mony Kann Darung will teach directing. He holds a Master’s Degree in Film and Video from Dongseo University, South Korea, and has worked in film since 2011.

Him Thideth is a freelance director of photography. He is currently a freelance cinematographer and editor. He started working behind the camera in 2017 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Cinematography from Dongseo University.

Pok Borak, director of the Cinema and Cultural Diffusion Department at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts expressed his support for the course, saying it was sure to make a valuable contribution to the Cambodian film industry.

“Although this is a short course, I think it will cultivate some exciting new talents,” said Borak.

“The fact is that developing new entrants into the industry is difficult, as it requires a real love for the work, as well as talent. I really appreciate the team at the Professional Institute of Cambodia for introducing this training – it will be interesting to see where the graduates end up,” he added.