Film Festivals in Cambodia promotes Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP) and Action IEC in Cambodia collaborated to organise film festival on the theme Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at three venues in two cities in the Southeast Asian nation during June 2012.
“This activity has lead to opening new distribution channels for the promotion of Environmental films in the formal Education sector, through innovative and new outreach mechanisms,” says Cedric Jancloes, Deputy Director of Action IEC.
ESD Film Festivals were held in the capital Phnom Penh on 15 June 2012 (at FCC Hotel) and on 21 June 2012 (at Meta House). In between, a festival was organised in the historic city of Siem Reap on 16 June 2012.
These festivals were aimed at a variety of audiences that included government officials, filmmakers, TV producers and staff of local and International development agencies.
TVEAP’s Asian regional TV series, Saving the Planet, formed a key part of festival content. The six-episode series, released in late 2009, features outstanding efforts in education for sustainable development (ESD) in South and Southeast Asia. It was recently versioned into Khmer language by Action IEC, a Cambodian non-profit organisation committed to producing and delivering media materials for development. See box below.
Many other films on environment and development issues were also screened. Among them were films produced by Equity Weekly and several winning submissions from the Southeast Asian Student Documentary Award (SEADocs). At each venue, film screenings were accompanied by audience engagement activities such as discussions.
“This activity has lead to opening new distribution channels for the promotion of Environmental films in the formal Education sector, through innovative and new outreach mechanisms,” says Cedric Jancloes, Deputy Director of Action IEC. “We are extremely hopeful that this will open new and sustainable avenues for future collaborations between media, and education structures.”
Osmose trains local community to earn sustainable livelihoods and market local produce. Osmose brought to the film screening some local people from the Tonle Sap Lake community.
“The Project officer of Osmose Tonle Sap Conservation Unit spoke briefly on their activities,” says Nadeeja Abeyasekera, TVEAP’s IT and New Media Manager, who represented TVEAP at the Cambodia ESD film festivals. “Other members of the audience included filmmakers, officials from the Ministry of Information and staff of local and International NGOs based in the area.”
The third event took place on 21 June at Meta House in Phnom Penh. Meta House is a German-Cambodian culture centre that is well known for film screenings and other cultural activities. They produce a monthly newsletter circulated among 5,000 subscribers. ESD film festival in Cambodia was promoted in their June 2012 issue. The audience in this event included filmmakers, NGO staff and media students.
As a follow-up activity, Action IEC is setting up a series of Video/DVD Library Corners in collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment’s Climate Change Department.
“The CCD-MOE is implementing a new communication strategy, axed on formal and non-formal education, building on the existing strategies and objectives for Education for Sustainable Development of the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MOEYS),” says Jancloes. “The CCD-MOE therefore showed interest to have the films of the STP series shown in their own activities. Furthermore, discussions were held with the key staff of the CCD communication unit to develop a new outreach system:
Saving the Planet: Floating the Future
Duration: 10 minutes Language: Khmer (orginal in English)
Synopsis: The people of Prek Toal have always known how closely their lives and jobs are linked to the ebb and flow of the Tonlé Sap lake, the largest in Cambodia and linked to the Mekong River. Now, the conservation group Osmose is showing how they can benefit from the lake's fish and other natural resources without killing off the very ecosystem that sustains them. One strategy that works: to reach out to grown-ups through their children.