"The Twin Diamonds" - Foundation Office Cambodia
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« The Twin Diamonds » is the first film totally written, shot and edited by 60 Cambodian students from more than 6 schools in 2009 at Phnom Penh – Mith Samlanh, the Department of Media and Communication (DMC) of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Reyum Art School, Lycée Français René Descartes, the Royal University of Fine Arts, and Limkokwing University. « The Twin Diamonds » will be shown two times with free entrance fee for public: on Saturday, September 26th 2009 at 5 pm, French Cultural Center; and Saturday, October 3rd 2009 at 6pm, Lux Theatre.
The film is the result of an 8-month-filmmaking workshop created by Davy Chou, a young French filmmaker whose grandfather Van Chann was one of the greatest film producers in Cambodia in the 1960s.
Davy Chou’s main idea with this workshop is to help bring the come-back of this golden age for film industry in Cambodia.
Sen Tharo, a student from Limkokwing University, said, “Through the film, I could practice what I learned in class. First, I felt nervous when holding a camera. However, after repeatedly practicing, I think I can do it well.”
Ith Sothoeuth, a DMC student: « I have learnt a lot from this workshop. Previously, I knew nothing about movie-making. Now I know what is ‘jump cut’, ‘flash back’, ‘tracking’ and some techniques that film directors use to correct the mistakes. It is a group work. It is not to do with only the film director, actor and actress, or camera man, but it is something to do with everyone. »
« If one of these people makes a mistake, all of them will face problems. I watched movies just for fun before, but now I watch movies with critical eyes. I try to find the mistakes in the movie,” he added.
« The Twin Diamonds », whose main young actors come from Mith Samlanh, is a 45-minute-film about the story of two twin sisters, who never met before and who struggle to investigate their mysterious past. The film, written step by step by 14 different student groups, is full of surprises and narrative twists.
Mr. Sebastien Marot, founder of Friends International: “This is very exciting initiative not only participates to the rebirth of Cambodian cinema, but also shows that art and films in particular can bridge social and cultural differences. This movie shows how together all these young people have found one voice and have enriched each other with new and different ideas. Because of the way it is designed, this movie carries a strong message of cooperation, friendship and understanding for all young people living in Cambodia.”
All the young characters are played by students from Mith Samlanh. Davy Chou made this choice because teaching in Mith Samlanh reveals him how creative those street youth was. They love to sing and perform and many of them dream of becoming actors, but there is nearly no chance that this dream comes true. The collective film would be a great opportunity to give them this chance. We organized a one-week casting in Mith Samlanh from May the 4th to May the 11th. 70 students registered in three days. This experience was wonderful because it was the first time that film workshop students worked together. Everyday some groups composed by students from different schools (sometimes DMC students with Reyum students, sometimes Mith Samlanh students with Lycée Descartes students, etc.) auditioned candidates for the main characters of the film. After this audition the students debate on the quality of the performances they saw. This teamwork was successful, as all the students work together despite their differences of background, social level or even native language. They had autonomy as large as possible: beginners were auditioning beginners and everybody was learning by practicing together.
The students chose two girls of the beauty class to perform the sisters, and one boy of the hair cut class to perform Seila. We really think they are talented and hope that the film will show that to all.
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