Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Crowd asked to chip in for film



Crowd asked to chip in for film

Crowd asked to chip in for film

This week saw the launch of a crowd-funding campaign to finance filming and post production on the first documentary ever made about Vann Molyvann’s life and legacy. The Man Who Built Cambodia, by filmmakers Christopher Rompré and Haig Balian of Little Big Film, will be a half-hour film that the duo hopes to unspool at the Chaktomuk Theatre – one of Molyvann’s most iconic creations.

Unlike the majority of appeals for crowd funding, this is not a pipe dream waiting around for the money to make it happen. Rompré and Balian have already completed much of the filming – including several interviews with Vann Molyvann himself – thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Asia Foundation.

In November last year, they released the trailer for what they thought at the time was an almost completed documentary. It was the response to the short preview that changed things. “We started seeing how interested people were,” Rompré explains. Local cultural figures reached out to express their support, and the subject piqued the interest of a wider audience as well: the trailer already has over 10,000 hits online, which Rompré describes as “quite good” for a Cambodia-centric film. On the back of this unexpected reaction, the duo decided to dig deeper.

“We decided we wanted to go back and interview Vann Molyvann a few more times,” Rompré says, adding that because of the architect’s advanced age, he felt that time was of the essence: “His ability to tell these stories is diminishing over time.”

The new footage sees the architect reflecting on the current state of urban planning in the Kingdom.

The duo has opted for an all or nothing funding model on Indiegogo to raise the $15,000 they need, meaning that if they fall a dollar short they’ll get nothing. “It pushes those who are thinking about supporting to get behind us, rather than just a ‘pass the hat around’ kind of mentality,” Rompré explains.

And now that they’ve committed to further filming, hiring a professional colourist and commissioning a score for the film, Rompré thinks that making it for less than $15,000 isn’t really an option anyway. “It does sometimes feel like we got a tiger by the tail,” he says of the project’s escalation. “We started off so innocently.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol