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Film on impact of Sinn Sisamouth's music on present day Cambodians worldwide, years after his execution during the Cambodian Genocide.
Film on impact of Sinn Sisamouth's music on present day Cambodians worldwide, years after his execution during the Cambodian Genocide.
Film on impact of Sinn Sisamouth's music on present day Cambodians worldwide, years after his execution during the Cambodian Genocide.
193 backers pledged $20,238 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Elvis Of Cambodia: The Sinn Sisamouth Documentary

$20,238

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The Journey

Eighteen months ago we began our journey to Cambodia to create a film piece about Sinn Sisamouth, the most famous Cambodian singer of all time. Initially, we set out to create a short film bio, shot over a span of two weeks, however, it became apparent very quickly that the film needed to develop to be more substantial than that.

The main reasons for this were two-fold.

1. We were attempting to tell a story that dealt with one of the most beloved people in Cambodian history. The passion and adoration for Sinn Sisamouth of nearly every Cambodian we talked with was evident.  Ministers of the Cambodian government, tuk tuk drivers in Phnom Penh, mothers in Battambang, school children out in the provinces, all shared a mutual love, respect, and honour of this man who seemed to represent a Cambodia at it's most vibrant and creative time.  We realised we needed to do justice to this man's enduring legacy.

2. We knew that this had to be more than just a bio piece. There were complexities involved that we had not begun to develop before shooting commenced, such as copyright issues, rights for the families, the immense influence on Cambodians worldwide and Cambodian music until this day.

The Crew in Jan 2013, with Sinn Sisamouth's Son, Sinn Chanchaya
The Crew in Jan 2013, with Sinn Sisamouth's Son, Sinn Chanchaya

While we were waiting for our baby boy to arrive we continued to shoot what we could in the USA. This has included many Khmer-Americans - most of whom were refugees from the Khmer Rouge regime - who have been influenced by Sinn Sisamouth's music, and find listening to him a way to connect to their homeland.

Director, Producer, and Mekong Bistro Mom!
Director, Producer, and Mekong Bistro Mom!

Having this time to prepare has allowed us to research and have a clear idea of where we need to be telling this story, to make alliances with many Khmer-Americans, and to fully explore their stories and strengthen our belief that this film is important to them.

Filming with Chhom Nimol, from Dengue Fever, and The Bayon Band
Filming with Chhom Nimol, from Dengue Fever, and The Bayon Band

'Elvis of Cambodia' has become a much more thorough documentary film, which tells the story of a few individuals who are living their lives very much in honour of the great Sisamouth, by examining the enduring connection that Sisamouth's music provides them to a culture and a country.  It is a film about Cambodians everywhere who choose to celebrate a man and his music, years after his execution during the Cambodian Genocide.

Official Trailer

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Rewards

Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' T-Shirt or Tank Top

Designed by Red Scarf Revolution, one of the official sponsors of the film, the t-shirt and tank top are available in several colours for your selection - navy, grey and red and range from size S to XXL.

'Elvis of Cambodia' First Run Tshirts
'Elvis of Cambodia' First Run Tshirts

Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf

Straight from the markets of Cambodia! Wear your very own krama with pride.

Still Prints from the Film

Beautiful stills from the film come in two sizes, dependent on the rewards package you choose. The photographs below are just a few options, we will have many more beautiful shots when filming is complete.

Limited Edition EOC DVD

The Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' DVD will show the feature length documentary in full and be packed with extras, such as, Director's commentary, deleted scenes and film shorts.


Named and 'Angkor Wat' Photo 'Thank You!'

See your face and name up on the big screen! We ask that you send us a photograph of yourself, a loved one or a friend and that person's name. We will be making a montage of the photographs, perhaps in the shape of Angkor Wat(!) to show our gratitude for the supporters of the film.

Tickets to Screening of 'Elvis of Cambodia'

We will be holding screenings of the film throughout the USA, UK and Cambodia. The confirmed locations are Portland (OR), San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London and Phnom Penh. As part of the package you will meet the director and producer and be part of the Q&A session.

Private Screening Materials

We will send you a pack full of all you need to host a screening of the film in your home or community space. This will include:

  • Either a copy of the DVD or a link to a downloadable version of the film (whichever is best for you).
  • Access to never before seen footage
  • Optional Directors Commentary
  • Postcard Invitations for you to send out or give away
  • Skype with the Director and Producer where you can discuss any aspects of the making of the film, film funding, shooting in Southeast Asia

Bonus package includes merchandise including two Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' t-shirts or tank tops and two traditional Krama checkered scarves.

Where the Money Will Go

All funds raised from this Kickstarter campaign as well as other fundraisers and sponsorships, will allow us to return to Cambodia and continue production of the film.  This will include:

  • Research
  • Acquiring Archival Footage
  • Animation
  • Translating during Interviews and Transcribing Footage
  • Travel and Accommodation Costs

We have most of the equipment we need to shoot the film, however are looking to secure a quadcopter for aerial shots as well as a slider for dolly moves in order to obtain higher production values.

About the Filmmakers

Director's Bio

Chris G. Parkhurst has worked in the television, film and commercial production industry for over 10 years, but his most passionate projects are the documentaries he has worked on or produced over that span.

Parkhurst’s first excursion into both documentary filmmaking as well as SE Asia, was in 2004, when he spent six months in Cambodia working on the Fulbright and State Department-sponsored documentary film,Bombhunters.  The film, which was also edited by Parkhurst, went on to gain much acclaim, including not only numerous film festival nominations, but also a Sundance Documentary Institution inclusion.

This experience working on a film in a developing country led him to direct his own documentary, Journey to Kathmandua film about the once in-a-lifetime journey that Nepalese mountain goats make from their farmland lives in Tibet to their sacrificial deaths in Nepal, during the annual Dashain Festival.

However, his greatest achievement to date has been marrying the producer of ‘Elvis of Cambodia’, Stephanie Maria Vincenti, and helping to raise their beautiful offspring, one Flynn Christopher Parkhurst-Vincenti.

Producer's Bio

Stephanie Vincenti began working in film/tv production in 2006, working primarily as a 2nd Assistant Director on various features in the United Kingdom, including ‘Eliminate: Archie Cookson’ and Neil Horner’s ‘AB Negative’. 

In 2010, Vincenti, seized an opportunity to do 1st AD work on some features in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  This would turn into four years of working on features in both Malaysia and England, namely ‘Lagenda Budak Setan 3’ and ‘Prince of the City’.

In 2013, she started her own company, Little Scarlet Films, concentrating not only on feature length films, but also moving into the realm of documentary filmmaking.  It was during this year, that she spent time in Cambodia filming with her future husband Chris G. Parkhurst, on what would become the basis for ‘Elvis of Cambodia’, her first documentary as a producer.

Risks and challenges

Shooting in a hot and humid (and sometimes rainy!) climate such as Cambodia can be tricky business. Security can also sometimes be an issue. However, with our prior experience shooting in such environments, we believe that we will have the proper protective gear as well as have taken the proper necessary precautions for shooting in such areas.

Cambodia is still lacking in any sort of true film infrastructure. Because of this, we will be taking all of our own gear, including backups of certain camera and computer equipment. Singapore and Bangkok are only short flights away, if we have any substantial gear letdowns.

As is the case with any sort of film endeavour, unforeseen circumstances can and will arise. We believe that we have the knowledge, foresight, and fortitude to take on any and all challenges as they present themselves.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A Huge Heartfelt 'Thank you!' by Email and on Social Media

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    Digital Download of the Completed Film and a Huge Heartfelt 'Thank you!' by Email and on Social Media

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    NEW REWARD: Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' T-shirt and A Huge Heartfelt 'Thank you!' on social media. Several Color Options Available. Sizes S - XL. Early release - Mail out Sept 2014. This T-shirt is currently only available at events we attend or here on Kickstarter.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Digital Download of the Completed Film, 5" x 7" Stills (x5) from the Film, Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf and a Huge Heartfelt 'Thank you!' by Email and on Social Media

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Limited Edition DVD of 'Elvis of Cambodia', 5" x 7" Stills (x5) from the Film, Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf and a Huge Heartfelt 'Thank you!' by Email and on Social Media

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' T-Shirt or Tank Top, Limited Edition DVD of the Film, 5 x 7" Stills (x5) from the Film, Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf and a Huge Heartfelt 'Thank you!' by Email and on Social Media

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Two Tickets to Screening of Film (PDX, SF, LA, NY, LDN or PNH), Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' T-Shirt or Tank Top, Limited Edition DVD of the Film, 5 x 7" Stills (x5) from the Film, Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf and a Huge Heartfelt 'Thank you!' by Email and on Social Media

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Named and Photo 'Thank You!' on DVD and Theater Credits, Two Tickets to Screening of Film (PDX, SF, LA, NY, LDN or PNH), Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' T-Shirt or Tank Top, Limited Edition DVD of the Film, 5 x 7" Stills (x5) from the Film, Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf and a Huge Heartfelt 'Thank you!' by Email and on Social Media

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Named and Photo 'Thank You!' on DVD and Theater Credits, Four Tickets to Screening of Film (PDX, SF, LA, NY, LDN or PNH), Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' T-Shirt or Tank Top, Limited Edition DVD of the Film, 8 x 10" Stills (x2) from the Film and Signed by the Director, Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf and a Huge Heartfelt 'Thank you!' by Email and on Social Media

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Private Screening Materials and Skype Session Q&A with Producer and Director. Full Package inc. Invitation Postcards. (See Rewards Info for More Details). A Huge Heartfelt 'Thank You!' by Email and on Social Media

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Private Screening Materials and Skype Session Q&A with Producer and Director. Full Package inc. Invitation Postcards. (See Rewards Info for More Details). 2 x Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' T-Shirts, 2 x Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf and A Huge Heartfelt 'Thank You!' by Email and on Social Media

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Associate Producer Credit, Four tickets to Screening of Film (PDX, SF, LA, NY, LDN or PNH), Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' T-Shirt or Tank Top, Limited Edition DVD of the Film, 8 x 10" Stills (x2) from the Film and Signed by the Director, 2 x Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf and A Huge Heartfelt 'Thank You!' by Email and on Social Media

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Executive Producer Credit, Six tickets to Screening of Film (PDX, SF, LA, NY, LDN or PNH), Official 'Elvis of Cambodia' T-Shirt or Tank Top, Limited Edition DVD of the Film, 8 x 10" Stills (x2) from the Film and Signed by the Director, 2 x Traditional Krama Checkered Scarf and A Huge Heartfelt 'Thank You!' by Email and on Social Media

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (37 days)