• BIO

Australia| 2012| 0:13:20|Narrative | World Premiere

Finn attempts to rebuild his fragmented relationship with his father, Walter, through a fishing trip. Father and son have become estranged over the years but when Finn's life falls apart, he turns to Walter for guidance.

Director: Somchay Phakonkham
Executive Producer: Somchay Phakonkham
Producer: Thai Phuong
Writer: Peter Schneider
Cinematographer: Aaron Farrugia
Original Music: Dmitri Golovko
Editor: Kay Brand, Somchay Phakonkham
Sound Editor: Dmitri Golovko
Sound Mixer: Kay Brand

James Schaw, Jeremy Kewley

Somchay Phakonkham (director) is a Laotian-Australian film director from Melbourne. His fascination with film began at the age of 5 after seeing a TV show being filmed outside his Nott St primary school.

He went on to studying film in high school and later graduated from an Advance Diploma of Screen Production at the school of NMIT, Collingwood. Since then Somchay has directed countless short films, music videos and has worked on two independent feature films.

His short film "Get Him", which was co-directed by fellow director Jesse Galofaro, won him the "Best Director" award at the Queens St Film Festival and was also selected for "Tropfest's Best of the Rest" in 2007.


I'm a big fan of understanding the human behaviour and learning about what makes us do the things we do. So when I read "The Boat" and saw how it showcases the human complexity within these two characters, I immediately had a connection with it and had to turn it into a short film.

As individuals we sometimes can get caught up in our own lives and forget to stop and see how the people closest to us are doing and this story shows us a great example of just that.

I wanted audiences to feel the awkwardness and the tension between these two characters as if they were on the same boat. So I placed the camera right up in actor's face, so audiences become more engaged in what they are saying.


"The Boat" came about when were waiting for our feature film to be written. We didn't want to be sitting around doing nothing for the time being, so we went online and found a script "The Boat". We contacted the writer for permission to turn it into a short film and within weeks we were off to making "The Boat".

Preproduction started in September 2011 when we began location scouting, casting and storyboarding for the short film. Costumes and props were sourced from the help of family and friends.

All of the film was shot in one day and in one location. Finding the right beach setting for the film was one of the challenging aspects of this movie. We knew time wasn't going to be on our side for what we were particularly shooting, so we had to find a location which could serves as multiple locations. We ventured out east of Victoria and looked at a few locations, but the beaches were either to populated, too windy, or too much waves and just didn't fit the description of the story. By the end of the day we almost lost hope of finding the right location and even though about changing the setting of the film. The following day we decided to venture down south of Victoria to Geelong, and after a long day of scouting we found a few nice quiet beaches which serve as the location for the film.

Finding a boat for the film turned out to be even a much bigger task than we imagined. We initially called everyone we knew to see if they had a boat, but had no luck. So we called around to every boat rental store in Melbourne and asked if they had an old tin boat for hire, but they only hired out new ones. We even though about buying an old tin boat just for the film but even a small tin boat was quite pricey and out of our budget. We were all out of resources but we decided to go back to the start and call everyone we knew and asked them if they could call around to see if their friends had any old tin boats. Thankfully, after all the chasing around we finally found someone who had the perfect boat for the film and was kind enough to let us borrow it for the film. With that and locations nailed down, we went in to production.

Filming began on October 15, 2011, at 4:00am, using an Arri Alexa and just two lenses, a 40mm and a 65mm. We were very limited on our equipment but we made do with what we had. Filming out in the water was quite a challenge, we had to battle winds, waves and scattered clouds which came in and out of sun, affecting our shots. Lucky we were near huge rocks which we use to help block the wind and helped break the waves so the waves weren't as rough.

After completing the shoot, we spent the next three months editing. We ended up cutting out a scene at the start of the film because it was slowing down the pace of the film. Once we had the picture lock we took the film to be graded at a post production house that also did the visual effects for the film. We then began working on the sound design, mixing the dialogue, music and sound effects, while the film resulting in our final edit.