Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 14, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- A group of Khmer and Foreign filmmakers and artists, including a Cambodian Princess, US alt-rock legend Bob Lewis of the band Devo, an award-winning US writer-director, and Golden Age 1960’s Cambodian filmmaker Yvon Hem all have one thing in common.
They’re working to get Cambodia’s first homegrown crowd funded indie feature, "Freedom Deal" off the ground, in a developing nation where film funding is virtually non-existent and crowdfunding - common in the West - is unheard of.
Undaunted, a new crowd funding site for the film, "Freedom Deal" has just been launched at the popular international crowd funding portal, IndieGogo.
The goal is to raise enough money in 40 days to produce a short film adapted from the feature length screenplay, in order to gain festival circuit exposure and to attract enough co-production interest to produce the full-length feature.
This is the first time ever in the history of Cambodian's film making history that a crow funding effort has been implemented to finance a feature film in that country, an effort pioneered by the production company, Camerado SE Asia.
Many US citizens remember the 1970 shootings of unarmed protesting students at Kent State as a turning point in the US involvement in the Vietnam war, leading to the eventual downfall of President Nixon himself.
But relatively few people realize that the Kent State protesters were expressing outrage at the Cambodian incursion, as depicted in "Freedom Deal," an event which had widely been seen as an expansion of the Vietnam War into the rest of Southeast Asia.
Writer-director Jason Rosette is quick to point out that "Freedom Deal" is not an Anti-American movie, of the likes of some kind of Mai Lai massacre.
"To the contrary," states Rosette, "it expresses, as a dramatization (with supernatural & horror elements) the well-researched and well-founded points of view of many diplomatic, civilian, and military personnel - US, Vietnamese, and Cambodian - that the war in Indochina had been ill-conceived and was needlessly costing hundreds of thousands of lives by 1970, the date that 'Freedom Deal' takes place."
The feature drama tells the story of a Cambodian youth and his fellow refugees who flee the growing conflict on their border as the Vietnam war expands into Cambodia during Nixon’s 1970 "Cambodian incursion." On their way they evade horrific Cambodian ghosts, while rescuing a downed US aircrew and evading brutal Khmer Rouge guerillas.
For the production of "Freedom Deal," taking place during the 1970 US incursion into Cambodia, (Cambodian) Princess Norodom has been conducting local and regional outreach regarding the funding effort to share this important, but relatively unknown part of US-Cambodian history.
The Cambodian environment is lacking in several key areas, and film production incentives (let alone rebates or grants) are not currently available, so funding must come from the private sector or international sources.
But the locations are fresh, authentic, and the cinema industry is developing quickly as international productions continue to shoot in Cambodia more and more frequently - training local crews along the way.
So the "Freedom Deal" team, based in faraway Cambodia, are seeking the assistance of global film fans everywhere to contribute online on their IndieGogo crowd funding page - the first for a Cambodian feature film - to help make this unique, untold story a reality.