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What’s new? Cambodian Arts Picture School "Khmer Rachana"

Today’s “what’s new” may sound a bit more strange than in the past, because it’s about a training school for film stars.  The school, Cambodian Arts Picture, is a necessary proving ground for any aspiring Cambodian celebrities.

Chea Sanara, one of the school’s directors, informed me he and his colleagues had received bachelor’s degrees in film production from a film school in Hollywood, California.

When I arrived at the school, I was surprised by how quiet it was.  All the students were apparently busy with entrance exams, so I sat down with the school director  for 20 minutes to chat about his course.

After talking with him for a while, I realised my visit had come at an inopportune time.  Prospective students were still in the process   of applying and hadn’t begun their studies yet.  

The school director showed me the applications he had received for this year.  Thirty had come from veteran film stars,    while 100 had came from new applicants.

Chea Sanara said that to be able to train at the school, all applicants had to undergo a series of tests in front of several judges, some of whom were American.  There are three tests.

First, the applicant must present an ode, or a poem expressing his or her thoughts and feelings about a particular subject or person.  Second is a screen test in front of the camera, and third is a casting test in which applicants are asked to play specific roles in a play.   

Seems to me like it’s not easy being a film star!  I might get sleepy during all those tests, and big cameras sometimes frighten me.  I asked him about the types of cameras they use and he told me they normally have four, although two were on loan to friends.  One of them is an HD camera and the other is a DV camera.

I also asked him about the training room, and he let me take a peek.  The room is on top of his flat and has a small office on the side.

Chea Sanara told me that courses would begin in the second week of July.  The courses will focus on dance (tango and other international styles), sound (how to use your natural voice), basic decoration, karate and foreign languages.  

Sanara said he and his colleagues had founded the school to enhance the Cambodian film sector, and to make it more creative and productive.  

Being a writer, I’m not too obsessed with the film industry.  But for those of you who love singing and performing, this may be a good place to start.  Cambodian Arts Picture is located #24B, St. 24, Sangkat Boeng Tompu, Khan Mean Chey, Phnom Penh.

The film producer and school director also added that he and his friends wanted to establish to this school because they would  like to enhance the film sector to make it more creative and productive.

Again, because I’m a writer, I am not so obsessed with such things, but for all of you who love singing or performing it could be a good place. Cambodian Arts Picture is located #24B, St 24, Boeung Tompun commune,Meanchey district, Phnom Penh.

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