Youths with the love of Khmer film in the past

“I want youth to know about our Khmer film during 1960s and 1970s,” said Rin Chhoumvirak, a leader of a film research group called Preah Sorya. While many people show no interest in Cambodian old films, a group of young researchers has been trying hard to grab back the attention.

Preak Sorya group joining FilmCamp 2012 at Canadian Tower. / Photo supplied Preah Sorya is a film-researching group consisting of 15 members. The group was formed in 2010. Everyone in the team has the same passion – to dig out the history of old Khmer film and spread it to the public. Though the group is not widely known yet, Virak still shows his potential to move on.

Virak first worked in a radio station with his friend Kouy Langdy, who is now the sub-leader of Preah Sorya Group. He said at the beginning, film researching was just his individual research.

“I announced my phone number in the purpose of sharing knowledge I have about Khmer film on radio where I worked,” Virak reminded of how the group started to form. He added he got a lot of attention from the audience that time. One by one, he found people with similar interest.

Virak said that only one project has been finished and showed to the public during Film Camp on March 2012, at Canadia Tower. He said, “The success we got from the event was that Cambodian youth could learn about old Khmer film,” adding that the attention the group got during the event exceeded his expectation.

However, Virak said that more projects are underway. “My new project is making a love film,” told Virak. The project has started since April. The 20-minitue film is played by friends, and it is originally written by the group itself. He expects to spend around 3 to 6 mouths to finish it because the film can only be shot at the weekend, the only available time of his cameraman.

Virak also added that the group is also working on another project which is making documentary and he hopes to screen it in June at Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center.

The group is also waiting to publish a 100-page biography book of pop star Vichara Dany. Virak said, “We have finished the book. Now we are designing the cover and waiting to publish it in June.” He stated there are still more projects in the future.

Virak said, “Through our projects, we hope that people will know more about us, and we also hope to get some fund. More importantly, I want Cambodian to know about the history of Khmer film.”

Lack of fund is still an issue of Preah Sorya Group. Virak stated that the fund Preah Sorya spend now is the own money of members in the group as they have no sponsor yet. “For now, I don’t get anything back yet. However, I think what we are doing now is like studying. We get knowledge and experience now, and it will be useful in the future.”

“In the future, we want to create an organization to keep archive of film and music from 1950s and 1960s,” said Virak, adding that he wants youth to know and love Khmer film. The group also wants to make film, Lakhon Niyeay (drama), and song. He optimistically said that people who want to learn more about the history of Khmer film can come to the organization.

“We have good history, but if we do not study about it, history has no value,” said Virak.

Article by: Nhem Piseth

About Writer:

Piseth's profileNhem Piseth is a junior of Media Management at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC).

Being a media student, Nhem Piseth always hopes that what he has done can make positive changes, no matter how small or big, to society. He believes that writing can be one of the most effective ways to make it possible. With love of writing in his heart, Piseth has made writing as his daily activity and he will never give it up. He has been a reporter for CambodiaCircles since September 2011.  "I believe that people tend to be more honest when they write than when they talk, and that is one of the best things about writing," said Piseth.