April 03, 2010: Kounila Keo’s video clip that was awarded by the Embassy of the United States in Cambodia in a Video Challenge competition, ‘Democracy Is…’.
I got a chance to have a quick interview with both Kounila and Sokchea, who co-produced the video. Tharum: The video has to be very narrative, do you think it was challenging to explain your concept?
Kounila Keo and Neang Sokchea: Yes, certainly it was tough to think about how to convey the concept in a short clip (3mins), we have to make it precise
and understandable. It was really daunting to explain our message that way because we had so much to say in there…however, at the end, we managed to console ourselves, and came up with just one clear message.
Q: Why did you come up with this story of metaphorical shoes to elaborate ‘what democracy is’?
A: Well, shoes somehow can be representing us (people), we walk with shoes. Many people ask me this question. I attended an online course in Germany, and one group of mine made a soundslide about a journey of a pair of shoes. The male shoes walk everywhere from the shop to the train. I had in my mind that one day I would do something similar but that must carry a strong message, so that people can be educated and entertained at the same time! I have also done a lot of googling and youtubing to see shoes talk. I believe in creating new things out of old ones. This is a sustainable approach.
Q: How did you feel when you were told that you won the contest?
A: I felt quite surprised when I heard about us winning the video contest. The requirement was a video but not such a soundslide..and my friend and I just spent more than a few hours for each of two days taking photos, recording sounds, narrating and editing. That’s a lot of hard work as well. After all, both of us felt very proud of our team.
Q: How long did you spend on producing (both writing story and shooting) the narrative video?
A: I think we spent about two days.
Q: What will you do with the prize (ae video camera)?
A: I am going to use it for producing more and more video, for competition as well as for social change, also to make some more educational videos.
Q: Do you think you stand a chance to win the international prize?
A: I truly hope that at least our video will be taken into consideration by hundreds of people who can get to see it! The most important thing of all is not to win but to get our democracy message across around the world. We hope that more young people will engage in such competitions, and more opportunities should be created to give a platform for young people to creatively and critically think, so they’ll be part of the solution.