Nico Mesterham : Pepperfields


Nico Mesterham (Cambodia)
Mark Hammond (USA)
Title: Pepperfields, 2010, 23:05

A hundred years ago, the region of Kampot in Cambodia was well known across Europe as an agricultural province, producing “the best pepper in the world”. Due to Cambodia’s civil war and the Khmer Rouge genocide, Kampot Pepper was lost to the culinary world for almost 40 years. But today former low-ranking KhmerRouge soldiers are turning into entrepreneurs. Globalization provides greater export opportunities and small-scale pepper-farmers are taking advantage, determined to conquer international food markets. Politicians, NGOs and foreignbusinessmen are supporting Kampot’s pepper comeback.

Sao Sopheak (28), Pich Seyha (23), Quen Dalin (23), Khin Sina (23) and Hem Vanna (26) – Cambodian film students from the M.E.T.A. film school in PhnomPenh – visited THE PEPPERFIELDS of Kampot. lnternational directors MarkHammond, Marc Eberle and Nico Mesterharm joined them. Other professionalsinvolved were cameramen Lach Chantha (Cambodia), Marc Eberle (Germany),French editor Jean Mathis and French sound designer Germain Piiour. Theirdocumentary Q3 min, 2010) connects Cambodia’s history, the re-branding of its
Kampot Pepper and the country’s steps towards a market based economy.

The documentary PEPPERFIELDS has been made possible through funding of the German political foundation “Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation” (FNS). The M.E.T.A. program ( aims at strengihening theCambodian doc film scene. lt is implemented by Cambodia’s first art and mediacenter “Meta House” ( in cooperation with the Goethe lnstitute.