Reel Woman: Nimol Bunchan on Leading the Cambodian Film Industry & Balancing Work-Life Harmony

Editor-In-Chief: Jamee Livingston
Publicist: Rick Krusky, MWPR Inc

3 mins read

Trailblazing media entrepreneur Nimol Bunchan is at the forefront of an audacious new era in Cambodian cinema as the CEO and Founder of SASTRA Film. Nimol has propelled her company from humble origins to a powerhouse in the industry, now employing 150 talented individuals and offering opportunities to over 200 artists every year. Under her guidance, Nimol’s vision and dedication have not only elevated the local film industry but also garnered international recognition. Her commitment to nurturing talent and producing high-quality content has set a new standard in the industry, inspiring others to follow suit. With projects that resonate with audiences worldwide, Nimol continues to solidify her reputation as a steadfast leader in the world of filmmaking.

Nimol’s career trajectory in the film industry is just as enthralling as the storylines in the films her company creates. Born in Vietnam and growing up in the region of Kampuchea Krom, the budding visionary learned the Khmer language as a means to facilitate her creative goals. After her family moved to Cambodia in 1999, she further pursued her passion for film by taking courses in screenwriting. Nimol’s dedication to her craft led her to explore various aspects of storytelling, from writing scripts to capturing scenes behind the camera.

Nimol Bunchan for Livingston Magazine

Although her initial career path led to journalism post-graduation, her heart was set on making a difference in the film industry and Cambodian culture. In 2015, armed with nothing more than a dream and a modest capital of $1,000, she bravely established her own film production company, SASTRA Film. With the support of her husband, family and one dedicated staff member, they started creating captivating three minute films for Facebook. From these modest beginnings sprouted an incredible growth story fuelled by her passion for the arts and entrepreneurship. Her story is a shining testament to the power of dreams and determination.

SASTRA produces over 750 TV episodes, 20 feature films, 50 life films and 18 life series per year. Her company’s rich offering of content embraces LGBTQ narratives and Buddhism teachings for mental and spiritual growth. With SASTRA’s TV series consistently topping viewer ratings nationwide, the company has broadened its horizons by sharing the joy of Cambodian entertainment with other Southeast Asian countries. Nimol and her team have even developed their own movie app called Sastra Film App, which offers a variety of creative content to entertain audiences of all ages. “We are committed to developing ourselves and, together, we aim to bring Cambodian film to the world.”

Nimol is fortunate to have three incredible children and a supportive husband, who also plays a pivotal role in her company as General Manager. As a media mogul, Balancing the demands of her own business and home life can indeed be challenging. “There were moments when I dedicated nearly every hour of the day to work and even slept in the office. I found myself missing out on time with my family as they were already asleep by the time I got home.” This imbalance affected both her relationships and personal life. In order to put her family and well-being first, Nimol made the decision to rearrange her work schedule. She ensured to prioritize spending extra time with her family, especially by accompanying her children to school and being fully present with them before immersing herself in work. Once the school day ended, she could enjoy precious moments together as a family.

Nimol quickly discovered that by working fewer hours yet maintaining better focus, she could attain a better balance in both her career and her personal life. This discovery highlighted the importance of quality over quantity in terms of time investment. The balance Nimol found between work and family time brought a sense of fulfillment that resonated deeply within her. As she embraced this new approach, Nimol realized that true success is not just about working harder, but about working smarter and cherishing the moments that truly matter. With a renewed perspective, she embarked on a journey of growth and contentment, knowing that thriving in all aspects of life is indeed achievable with the right mindset and priorities in place.

Nimol’s unique background and experiences has shaped her perspective as a woman and entrepreneur, allowing her to blend cultural influences seamlessly into her work. With an unwavering commitment to her country, Nimol continues to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation in the film industry, inspiring others with her compelling narratives that bridge cultures and touch hearts worldwide. Through shared experiences and common tales, they’re bringing people together in an extraordinary symphony of cultural unity. This is more than storytelling; it’s a celebration of our shared humanity.


Livingston Magazine is an international, independently published magazine exploring society through the eyes o people from around the world. Through diverse voices, we feature inspirational people and their stories. "We connect with an audience interested in more than just the trend, but the deeper meaning of life." - JB Livingston, Founder/Editor-In-Chief.
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