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Cambodia’s ‘Father’ leads best short films to Japan

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times Share:
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Students of the three best short films. YT/Srey Kumneth

A father’s story of sacrifices topped the country’s best short films at the 11th preliminary in-country contest in Cambodia for the Asian International Children’s Film Festival (AICFF) finals in Japan later this year.

Annually hosted under the JENESYS 2019 programme, the film contest among high school students was organized by the Embassy of Japan in liaison with Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport at CJCC (Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Centre) on Monday.

Under the theme “How do you think about causing others trouble, is it okay if only you are good? Can you think about other people?” sixty-nine films were submitted by students from 35 high schools in Cambodia, after which 15 short films were nominated for screening to the public at CJCC.

From the 15 films of three minutes each, three splendid short films were chosen to present Cambodia in the Japan final this year. “Father” led second-best ‘The Consequences’, followed by ‘Decisions’.

A total of nine high school students (from three winning groups) in this preliminary contest will thus be given the golden opportunity to visit Japan and participate in the final round on Dec 7, competing against high school students of Japan, 10 Asean countries, China, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan and Timor Leste.

Khoan Pengleap, 17, who represented his group for ‘Father’, said: “I wanted to show the world that Cambodia students can also produce their own film and are as talented as people out there. I want to make it to the international stage. Now, it has come true.”

“At the announcement, I did not expect my film to be the first winner because as you can see the 2nd and the 3rd winners have such good content and quite good quality videos.

Therefore, I really thought we might not get chosen,” said Pengleap of Preah Monivong High School in Battambang province.

Pengleap and his team banked on a scripted the true story a father who sacrificed everything for his son’s education without a single penny left in the pocket.

“Nowadays young people for modern items like phone and motorbike and more. So we produced this film of a father and a callous son who desired for material goods. The film ended with the sick father dying because he gave in to his son’s demands with the money meant for medicine,” added Pengleap.

The second-placed “The Consequences”, an animation film, was produced by students from Toul Toum Poung High School and American Intercon School.

The film projected the future where the whiplash of human development — and its excesses — led to the ultimate destruction of the environment.

“I learned about and love the environment, and I thought when people develop a country it will destroy the environment such as cutting trees or hills. So the impact on people in the future,” said Mr Chunhour.

He added: “Every country has to develop but they should also think about sustainability of the environment too. We wanted to send this message to people around the world to start thinking about the Earth.”

Titles of the other nominated shorts films are: The Past, Selfish Farmer, Self-Centred, Selfish, Paper, Troublemaker, Sorry, Burden, Violence, Regret, Corn-cob, Whose Fault?

Closing speech of the event came from Mr Chim Chhoeun, Bureau chief of youth at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

JENESYS is a Programme (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths) founded by the Japanese government from the standpoint of providing a sound foundation for strong solidarity within Asia through large-scale youth exchange.

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