Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Film school slated for capital



Film school slated for capital

A film crew shoots a movie scene on location earlier this year. A film school is slated for Phnom Penh and a production studio is earmarked for Kampong Speu, both to open early next year.
A film crew shoots a movie scene on location earlier this year. A film school is slated for Phnom Penh and a production studio is earmarked for Kampong Speu, both to open early next year. Eli Meixler

Film school slated for capital

A consortium of Chinese and American investors will invest $2 million to open a film school in Phnom Penh and a production studio in Kampong Speu early next year, the Ministry of Culture announced yesterday.

ZSL Amusement and Investment Network Co Ltd, which is registered in Cambodia and bills itself as an investor in real estate and technology, says it sees potential for a film industry where local talent is at times held back by a lack of training and access to technology.

“Lots of people here play around with video in their spare time and edit it on their computers,” Chinese-American Zhang Zhi Heng, the director of ZSL, said in a phone interview yesterday. “The population of interested people is quite large.”

The school’s three- to five-month courses will encompass screenwriting, directing, cinematography, lighting, acting and other subjects, initially accommodating up to 500 students. Heng said that admission costs will be similar to “other private schools in Phnom Penh”.

ZSL had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to get support for both institutions. According to Som Sokun, the ministry’s secretary of state, the government hopes to build up the Kingdom’s human resources in the field to be able to compete with other filmmaking communities in the region and globally.

Filmmaker Rithy Panh yesterday welcomed the idea of a film school, saying that skills training is currently the most important element missing in the Kingdom’s nascent film industry.

“If you don’t have the skills, you will not exist [in this industry],” he said, adding that for a Cambodian film industry to be sustainable, it needs to tap into the international market.

Chhay Bora, a film director and president of the Motion Picture Association of Cambodia, had some concerns about the studio’s far-away location from Phnom Penh as well as the quality of instruction that will be offered.

“There were some training courses on filmmaking before but the result was not that great,” he said, referring to earlier courses offered in Phnom Penh by other companies.

Heng said that his instructors will come from the Philippines and from the US. He also said that ZSL has partnered with major American film industry equipment providers.

He said that major film producers will be willing to come to Cambodia as long as the skill base is there.

“Producers will come as long as there is HR,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there