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Sports & Career : Derek BIDAUT, Bokator, Cinema and Passion

Most of us know Derek BIDAUT mainly for his skills and his involvement in our ancestral martial art: BOKATOR. Arrived in 2010, precisely to improve in this discipline, he is now increasingly noticed on the film scene.

Derek BIDAUT. Photo supplied
Derek BIDAUT. Photo supplied

Today in the series of our atypical portraits, let's go through together the career of this French native of Sete and now Cambodian, under the Khmer name Chanrithi SAK

 

Interview

Beyond your great involvement in the bokator, you opened the PRODAL sports club a few years ago. However, we notice more and more your presence in the 7th art. Why this choice?

It was for me a logical continuity to my approach. When I started to be known for the bokator, I was proposed some roles in extra or appearance for short or medium films. I then thought that acting would be a good way to represent this ancestral martial sport to a larger population.

Tell us about your first film: THE PREY

In this first movie, I play a stuntman role and do some fight scenes.

In 2020 you shoot DON’T SLEEP, what were your most important memories?

It is my first performance as an actor, with the character of a monk of foreign origin who grew up in Cambodia: Kong, and impregnated by the culture and especially the magic. The most striking fact for me is the location of the shooting, in the middle of the forest, isolating us from the rest of the world.

2021 marks for you a period of ‘short films’ with THE SUPER HERO and BOKATOR. Does this format of film better correspond to you?

It’s a format I tried with those two projects and found them enjoyable.

Your last appearance was in 2022 with KILLING TIME VIOLENTY. How was this new experience?

This film allowed me to explore new facets of my acting abilities by taking on a role as a villain, and with a role that involved many stunts and hectic action scenes.

You also have a great passion: THE BOKATOR. How were your first moments with Grand Master Kim Sean?

Bokator is the main reason I came to Cambodia. This art has allowed me a total immersion and integration into your culture and I consider since then Grand Master SAN KIM SEAN as my substitute father in Khmer Srok.

This ancestral knowledge and discipline change a person, would you like to share this cultural heritage in many ways?

Absolutely! I try every day to transmit it, and my dream remains that this discipline can be known and recognized worldwide. This approach is extremely important to me; I am currently using all the means of communication available to me in order to carry out this quest.

Have you ever thought of writing about this subject, for example?


Let's go back to the cinema: what are the Cambodian films that have marked your mind?

I remain a neophyte in the 7th Cambodian art, but my favourite would be JAILBREAK. I perceive it as a film that has helped reveal the Khmer martial arts to the general public.

What do you think about the place of Cambodian cinema at the international level?

I remain confident and I like to imagine a promising and booming future, especially because of our diverse (and beautiful!) landscapes and Srok is full of talents to discover.

If tomorrow two directors were to offer you a successful film, one a film dealing with a subject that is close to your heart … which one would you take first?

Without hesitation, a successful project, so that it can be a springboard to bring Khmer culture and Bokator to the forefront.

Finally, you are now a full citizen of our Kingdom, what advice would you give to those who would like to follow in your footsteps?

I became a Cambodian citizen in 2020. This was a real achievement for me in my personal journey, but also a huge pride. I don’t really have any specific advice to give other than to IMPRESS YOURSELF INTO THE CULTURE, LIVE IT, UNDERSTAND IT AND LOVE IT.

Interview by Chantha R.

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