I started Posh Corps Shorts as a companion series for my feature film Posh Corps. I was inspired to create the companion series based on my conversations with returned volunteers from countries like Morocco or Cambodia. These posh corps volunteers were always excited to hear about my film. Despite the fact that they did not serve in South Africa, 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 me to achieve, in some degree, my original vision for Posh Corps. When I first started pre-production for the film I was just finishing up my Peace Corps service. My vision for the film was to interview volunteers in posh corps countries around the world. I traveled to Cambodia for my COS (close-of-service) trip to research the possibilities for shooting volunteer interviews.

Cambodia seemed even more posh than South Africa in terms of first-world amenities. I captured thousands of images of the rapidly developing cities, and the displacement and cultural strain taking place due to rapid development. Cambodia volunteers seemed to struggle with the first-world/third-world dynamic, but the more I developed the script, the more I started to feel as though a film that took place in many different countries could never be detailed enough to truly capture an experience. My vision for a film that followed volunteers through several different countries was starting to remind me of Neapolitan ice cream. It was always going to be too many different flavors, and not enough of any one to feel satisfied.

I scrapped the idea of shooting volunteers in many different countries, and focused on South Africa. This was the right decision for the film, but I still liked the idea of telling the stories of these posh corps volunteers in all the countries where they serve. Posh Corps Shorts allows me to do just that.

-Alan Toth

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