Thursday, 18 June 2009

Siem Reap Scene...

Camille Plante, former coordinator of the Angkor Photography Festival.

Written by Seng Sovan
Thursday, 18 June 2009

Details are now being finalised for the fifth annual Angkor Photography Festival to be held in Siem Reap this November. But one of the big changes in this year's event will be the absence of Paris-based festival coordinator Camille Plante, who winds up her involvement at the end of this month.

"I have to update the Web site and the transfer will be done," she told Scene.

Last week, in one of her final hurrahs, she announced that the festival's fifth Angkor Photo Workshop will run from November 22 to November 28 in Siem Reap.

The workshop coordinator will once again be the legendary Roland Neveu, and tutors who have been signed up to date include Antoine d'Agata of Magnum Paris; Patrick de Noirmont of AP Paris and OnAsia Bangkok; and Olivier Nilsson, the picture editor for OnAsia Bangkok.

The Angkor Photo Workshop is emerging as one of the key features of the festival, as increasingly more importance is placed on the learning aspect of the festival, rather than just the looking. The workshops allow a significant number of young Asian photographers to perfect their art and accords them a chance at firsthand training.

Festival organisers last year were disappointed by the lack of young Cambodian photographers, and it is hoped this year that the home-grown component will be boosted.

Details of how to register for the workshop will shortly be posted on the festival's Web site,

An electrifying final saw Anjali House crowned winners of the Under 16s Football Tournament, held in Siem Reap on Sunday at the Provincial Teacher Training Centre.

The final was the culmination of the junior football tournament organised by Steve Longley, a teacher at ACE and coach for the Siem Reap International School. Longley is a FIFA-trained referee.

On Sunday, Anjali played the favourites, Sangkheum FC, for the trophy.

The teams went into half-time at one-all, but Anjali took the lead early in the second half, setting up for a nail-biting play off. Anjali were able to hold the score in their favour until the final whistle, but not without some serious threats to their lead.

At the prize-giving, the Golden Boot for most goals scored throughout the day went to Sangkheum FC's Sin Paine, scorer of five goals, and the winner's trophy was presented to Anjali by Steve Longley on behalf of the sponsor, Centre for Khmer Studies.

Race to awareness
The Children Committee, sponsored by the International Labour Organisation, held a footrace in Siem Reap on June 10 to promote awareness of female child labour in Cambodia.

Hundreds of children took part in the footrace, billed as "Providing the opportunity for female children to eliminate child labour".

Director of Children Committee So Kunthy said the footrace aimed to attract support to help stamp out child labour for girls and find support for their education.

Chief technical adviser of the ILO, MP Joseph, said, "We estimate that there are about 300,000 Cambodian children involved in the worst forms of labour, and 500,000 more are exploited in various forms of labour.

He added that during the past few years, the ILO had collected 18,000 children and sent them to school.

During the race celebrations, Rith Chan Mealea, a sixth-grade student at Wat Porbanteaychey School in Siem Reap, spoke on behalf of all the children when she appealed to the government, and national and international organisations to support the an international convention to protect children from smuggling and exploitation.

She said, "What concerns us is seeing children in difficulties, especially in worst work forms such as the brickmaking, fishing and rubber industries or in unsafe work places that will affect their health and mental outlook".

Amidst the gloom and doom, Siem Reap is experiencing a surge of new businesses.

Two months ago Laurent Baldani, after quitting his job as chef at the Day Inn Hotel, opened Villa Kiara guesthouse, and last week he went one step further, opening Siem Reap's first creperie, the Blackwheat Creperie.

Baldani said he opened the upmarket creperie because he thinks that with the market so low that the only way is up. Plus, he said, now is the time to buy "if you have a small amount of capital".

Raphael and Renee Guillien have also opened a second Bambou Company clothes and accessories outlet in Alley West, behind Pub Street.

This is the second Bambou retail outlet. The first was opened earlier this year in the Lucky Mall, but its range can be found in 15 hotel outlets.

Bambou also plans to open in Phnom Penh soon. The Guilliens will relocate to Phnom Penh when Raphael takes up his new job as group general manager of FCC.

Alex Sutherland, the entrepreneur with an ownership stake in Cafe Central, Angkor What? and El Camino, turned his Burgers Without Borders restaurant into The Grill earlier this month.

He said plans to change Burgers Without Borders into a dinner restaurant were months in the making, and that he decided to brave the transition despite the economic downturn.

No comments: