Great stories can come from anywhere. The problem is that many of those stories are not told due to a lack of resources, skills, or funding. Slowly, changes are being made to help support the diverse community of filmmakers around the world, and Netflix is leading the pack.
Led by Pruin Pictures, the Short Film Camp is a training program for professionals from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.
The event will run for ten days (Dec. 2-12, 2022) in Bangkok, Thailand. The 24 participants will receive mentoring from 12 teams of directors and producers from Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos that aim to hone their writing, producing, and writing skills.
At the end of the workshop, the participants will deliver a live pitch of their short film projects, and the four winners will receive funding and post-production support backed by the Purin Foundation.
“Supporting local creators builds opportunities for underrepresented filmmakers in Southeast Asia and beyond so that they get to tell the stories that they may not have been able to tell,” said Netflix’s Head of External Affairs, Amy Sawitta Lefevre.
Last year, three projects were funded out of the workshop, including My Bee’s Knees directed by Tinishine Mont and produced by Christine Flemming, Blazed Away directed by Supamart Boonnil and produced by Ratthathammanoon Supapootorn, and Dear You directed by Muendaw Kamontum and produced by Kataporn Sae-ieb.
This short film workshop is a huge step forward in funding diverse projects across the world. A seminar in Busan addressed the issues with filmmaking in Southeast Asia. The seminar acknowledged that there is a shortage of skills, a lack of production budgets, and uneven support for the industry from governments.
Allowing filmmakers to sharpen their skills and have their projects completely funded allows them the freedom to make art that is important to them and their communities.
“I truly believe good content can come from anywhere,” said Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, Netflix Thailand’s content director, who spoke at a career mentoring session at the camp last year. “It’s about giving a diverse group of people the opportunity to express themselves.”
The hope with the program is that all of the filmmakers involved can take their skills and apply them to the growing industry, making them leaders and mentors in their communities. With the support of Netflix, a new door has opened for these up-and-coming filmmakers, and we can't help but be excited about the growing diversity in our global community.
You can learn more about the camp here, and maybe apply next year!
Let us know what you think in the comments.