Alan Toth (South Africa 2010-12) started Posh Corps Shorts as a companion series for his feature film Posh Corps. He was inspired to create the companion series based on his conversations with RPCVs from countries like Morocco and Cambodia. Despite the fact that they did not serve in South Africa, Alan said, “they understood immediately that the film was intended to demonstrate that the availability of first-world amenities does not make Peace Corps service posh. I wanted to help these fellow posh corps volunteers tell their stories.”
Posh Corps Shorts was also an opportunity for Alan to achieve, in some degree, his original vision for Posh Corps. When he first started pre-production for the film he was finishing up his Peace Corps service. His vision for the film was to interview Volunteers in posh corps countries around the world. He even traveled to Cambodia for his COS trip to research the possibilities for shooting Volunteer interviews.
Cambodia seemed even more posh than South Africa in terms of first-world amenities. He captured thousands of images of the rapidly developing cities, and the displacement and cultural strain taking place due to rapid development. Cambodian Volunteers struggled with the first-world/third-world dynamic, but the more he developed the script, the more he started to feel as though a film that took place in many different countries could never be detailed enough to truly capture an experience. His vision for a film that followed Volunteers through several different countries was starting to remind him, he said, of Neapolitan ice cream. “It was always going to be too many different flavors, and not enough of any one for the viewer to feel satisfied.”
He scrapped the idea of shooting Volunteers in many different countries, and focused on South Africa. This was the right decision for the film, but he still liked the idea of telling the stories of these posh corps Volunteers in all the countries where they serve. Posh Corps Shorts allows Alan to do just that.
Posh Corps Shorts is available on the Posh Corps website, and several episodes are available on the Posh Corps DVD. 25% of the purchase price is donated to the National Peace Corps Association to support their Third-Goal initiatives. Check out:http://alan-toth.squarespace.com/npca