Somersaults Over Rice Fields, Documentary Film
From the rice fields of Cambodia, two teenage girls dream of making it into the famous Cambodian Circus. A documentary film by Skye Clark.Auckland
Somersualts over Rice Fields is a cinematic documentary film following teenage best friends Chanty and Sreyleak’s dreams of becoming circus stars in the world famous Big Top in Siem Reap – Cambodia’s main tourist city. This is an international film with universal themes of friendship, escapism, going for ones dreams and what it takes to get there.
My name is Skye. I am a New Zealand born and bred film-maker. I have been filming with Sreyleak and Chanty and have an incredible inspiring and uplifting story to share about these girls and how our human spirit is resilient and is able to overcome significant hardship. Now I am at the editing stage. I need your support to help raise finances to pay an editor for 4 weeks so that we can finish the film. The film when completed will be shown in film festivals. It will be a big support to spreading the message the social enterprise circus school, Phare Pon Leu Selpak that the girls attend.
One girl orphaned, the other abandoned by her parents, both live with adoptive families in Battambang, a poor rural northern province in Cambodia - famous for both the rice it produces and more recently, the young circus stars born and trained there.
Both girls are from poor and challenging home lives, and find refuge with one another. To them, the circus is a family, a place where they have an important part to play and they belong. However, there is pressure on them to perform at the highest level - if you don’t, you are out!
The Circus School –Phare Ponleu Selpak
Phare Ponleu Selpak is an NGO school in Battambang, near the border of Cambodia and Thailand. The school was set up by a group of Cambodian Refugees – survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime. The group found that the arts programme in their refugee camp is what helped their recovery the most. Now they offer this opportunity to upcoming generation of Cambodian youth who have been scarred by the family trauma of the genocide. The school is situated on the outskirts of town, down a long, dusty lane on the edge of rice farming fields. It aims to support youth from disadvantaged backgrounds; the children of poor rural farmers, some are orphaned and others have been rescued from trafficking. They have a strong social service department in the organization which works to support the students and their families to ensure safety and that the quality of life for entire families is improving.
The school recognizes the worth of art in different mediums. They have three main art streams being Circus, Art and Music. All departments of the school have an aim of using arts as a therapeutic tool. In all artistic areas the school pulls on Cambodian Culture, History and Spiritual Beliefs to inform their work. The income generated from the Circus shows support the public education school to offer a full range of classes otherwise unavailable to the students.
My name is Skye Clark. I am a female documentary director who has worked on television documentaries. This will be my first film. I believe that I have the story-telling skills and cinematic vision to be able to bring this story to life. By nature I am a very curious person. I think about how people come to be, how they got there and where they are going next. What will life throw at somebody and how will they respond or will they react. I am very excited to craft a good news story about Cambodia.
In my documentary career to date, I have told the stories of marginalized people often working towards a better life or to experience a success that they and others had never dreamed of. Other films have I on the bubbling tensions under the surface of Polynesian communities - women's rights, colonialism, religion and identity.
Through film I have the ability to enrich others lives. It gives others the opportunity to understand a little bit more about hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears and it helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us. It is through this belief and my previous work that a past colleague now doing the outreach for the Cambodian Circus gifted this good news story of Cambodia to me. Knowing my interest in youth and film-making she thought that I would be interested.
Use of funds
The goal is for $6000 NZD. This will be used to pay an editor and translation services. Any money raised above the goal will go towards music, colour grade, festival fees etc..
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Somersaults Over Rice Fields is progressing really well. Thank you everybody for your support and well wishes!
Two pieces of great news are...
The Phare Creative Suite in Battambang are going to be working with us in different aspects of the post production! Great that we can work with Cambodian locals in finishing the film
And the other wonderful news is we have secured a very talented and creative Editor to work on finishing the film with me - who is available to start in June! I've worked with this editor before and I feel that Chanty and Sreyleak's story is in safe hands! She creates beautiful emotive and authentic work in the edit suite!
Another great thing about the editing starting in June is it gives a little bit longer for the fundraising to help cover the costs. We have done well so far and are so thankful for all of you who believe in the power of this story.
We are always looking for new ways to fundraise to cover the costs of the post production, if you have any ideas please contact us. This may be items to auction or raffle off or being alerted to organisations that may promote the film that we are making.
Every time I look at the footage of Sreyleak and Chanty I feel so blessed that I can work on this not for profit project to help this amazing Not for Profit organisation in Cambodia helping thousands of children in their area and also regenerating the arts that had been wiped out. I definitely feel blessed.
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This page was created on 11 Nov 2018 and closed on 31 May 2019.