79 – Filming in Dangerous Environments with Doc Filmmakers, Chris Kelly & Venerable Luon Sovath

The number of docos filming in dangerous or hostile environments has been steadily increasing over the past decade, with the access to both dependable portable film gear as well as the best areas in which to tell a given story.  What has not necessarily increased is a filmmaker or journalist’s safety, with 80 being killed in action and over 250 imprisoned last year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

 

Doc filmmakers Chris Kelly and Venerable Luon Sovath spent years risking their life and limb to tell the story of land grabbing in Cambodia.  While innocent people were forcefully removed from their homes in the name of land development, Kelly and Luon were there with cameras filming the events for the world to see.  And I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down to talk with them about their experiences making the film, A Cambodian Springin hopes of shedding some light into the process of making documentaries in potentially dangerous areas of the world.

 

Topics Discussed

  • How the choice to tell the film entirely from the Cambodian perspective is a complex and demanding, though very unique and rewarding experience
  • How 3-6 months living/filming in Cambodia became 6 yrs in the country
  • How a monk decides to become a journalist advocating for the rights of those being displaced from their homes by the government
  • Hostile environment training in the UK prepared Chris for dangerous areas

 

Related Sources

Watch the trailer for A Cambodian Spring

 

 

Sponsors & Thank Yous

Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artist’s music by going to Free Music Archive today!

 

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Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

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