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Nimol Bunchan Discusses Her Life, Youth, and Impressive Career

Founder and CEO of SASTRA Film, Nimol Bunchan joins us today to discuss her life and career in the world of Cambodian entertainment.



Nimol Bunchan in 2024, photo courtesy of Nimol Bunchan
Nimol Bunchan in 2024, photo courtesy of Nimol Bunchan

Entrepreneurs are always a great source of inspiration, but one in particular that stands out is Nimol Bunchan. Bunchan is the CEO and Founder of SASTRA Film, one of the leaders of Cambodia’s film industry. Starting as modestly as any other media company, SASTRA has become an industry leader. Her commitment to building up Cambodia’s reputation as a great source of entertainment is unrivalled. She has been involved in the production of roughly 700 television episodes, over 20 feature films, and a few dozen educational films. Bunchan has also taken a diverse approach to how she does business. She has ensured to include LGBTQ narratives, as well as Buddhist content meant for mental and spiritual education.

SASTRA’s television series are often some of the most watched in the country. Bunchan has recently expanded her influence by creating several subsidiary companies. Some of these include AKARA Animation and Chan Records. The Sastra Film App was launched in early 2021 and offers ads-free video-on-demand from anywhere worldwide. SASTRA now also provides Cambodian entertainment to other countries within Southeast Asia.

Bunchan joins us today for a short chat about her life, youth, and impressive career.

Nimol Bunchan in 2024, photo courtesy of Nimol Bunchan

Nimol Bunchan in 2024, photo courtesy of Nimol Bunchan

What do you think is your greatest accomplishment?

Nimol Bunchan: “I think my greatest accomplishment is reviving local support for Cambodian films. This has been a goal of mine for many years, and I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to be such an intricate part in achieving it.”

What historical event would you most like to have experienced firsthand?

“The historical events I would most like to experience would be going back to the Angkorian era or the Sangkum Reasniyum era (an era led by King Norodom Sihanouk). They’re both such significant times for Cambodia. They would be amazing to experience.”

What always makes you nostalgic?

“My father’s presence. I wish that he could see who I am now and what I’ve accomplished.”

What is one thing that you’re good at that people don’t expect?

“I think I’m really good at perseverance. There are many situations where people look at me and tell me something is impossible. They think I’ll give up. But I don’t. Perseverance is definitely my strength. I keep trying until I succeed.”

What’s your favourite family tradition growing up?

“One cherished family tradition from my upbringing revolves around household chores and responsibilities. My parents emphasized the importance of efficient housework, teaching me valuable skills in organization. Their insistence on good behaviour and meticulousness instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility towards my task. This upbringing fostered in me a disciplined work ethic that I see in my approach to business every day.”

What are three words that describe you?

“The three words I would use to describe myself would be perseverance, eagerness (to learn), and procrastination.”

If your life were a book or movie, what would the title be?

“It would be ‘A Girl from Kampuchea Krom.’”

Who was your childhood hero? Do you still look up to them?

“My childhood hero is my mother. She fought through incredible situations, including two cancer treatments. Her mental strength is unwavering. I’ll always look up to her as my ultimate hero.”

Nimol Bunchan in 2024, photo courtesy of Nimol Bunchan

Nimol Bunchan in 2024, photo courtesy of Nimol Bunchan

What’s the best purchase you’ve ever made?

“I think it would be the investment in my education. Knowledge and skills are so valuable. In many ways they’re priceless. Those are areas that have really been paid off for me in my line of work.”

When do you feel like the best version of yourself?

“I feel like the best version of myself when I’m truly enjoying what I’m doing, which is what’s happening now in my life. This I’m very grateful for.”

If you could hang out with a famous person (dead or alive) for one day, who would it be?

“I would choose the former Prime Minister Hun Sen. I would love to learn about his leadership experience and hear about the wealth of life stories he no doubt has.”

What’s something you know isn’t real but wish existed?

“A time machine! I would love to travel through time and explore the past. There are so many historical moments that would be amazing to visit.”

Favourite drink and food?

“Fried pineapple with beef and fresh orange juice.”

Nimol Bunchan in 2024, photo courtesy of Nimol Bunchan

Nimol Bunchan in 2024, photo courtesy of Nimol Bunchan

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