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Countdown to Angkor Photo Fest

Peter Olszewski / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
From left, Jean-Yves Navel, co-founder and director of the festival, and photographer Eli Reed of Magnum Photos with programme coordinator Francoise Callier at Shoji Ueda’s exhibition during last year’s festival. Ronald Patrick

The 13th edition of the Angkor Photo Festival kicks off in Siem Reap next month, and this year organisers will unveil a new format and a new focus on educational missions and values.

Part of the new approach will see more involvement with a strong body of workshop graduates from the past 12 years. More than 300 workshop and festival alumni are now spread throughout Asia and are regarded as an invaluable resource, acting as brand ambassadors and advisors, according to the festival’s programme coordinator Francoise Callier.

She says the alumni was a driving force in putting the festival on the global map right from the beginning.

“We had an incredible batch of students in the workshops in 2007,” she says. “The best Asian photographers from the new generation, and they became our best ambassadors.”

But as well as benefiting the festival, this alumni also benefits from the festival’s ongoing resources.

“Support for the alumni continues throughout the years,” Callier says. “Helping them with edits, answering questions, and connecting them with editors and assignments.

“Such personal guidance is hard to come by in the world of photography, and it is what makes us more of
a family than an institution.”

Callier adds that as a curator for festivals around the world, she tries to include the work of Angkor Photo Festival alumni at the events.

She adds that the rise of numerous festivals globally gave impetus to the new direction in Siem Reap.

“When we started, we were the only festival in Southeast Asia. There was only Chobi Mela in Bangladesh,” she says. “As more festivals emerge in the world, our emphasis on education is more than ever our main goal for this thirteenth edition.

“After 12 years, the new format of our event reflects the incredible development and growth of our workshop alumni as well as the photography community that have grown around our annual event.

“This new format aims to enable these photographers to express themselves. We decided this new identity at the instigation of Antoine D’Agata of Magnum Photos who has been a volunteering tutor since 2005. ”

“We know that is a challenge for us to propose a festival in this way, but we are convinced that it will be the most useful to help Asian photographers.

“It’s really difficult even for talented Asian photographers to get exposure in the Western world, and to get access to the channels of promotion and visibility.”

The Angkor Photo Festival will run from December 3-12, and will feature photo workshops for 32 selected participants from across Asia, who will be trained by seven major international photo agencies.

Fifty underprivileged Cambodian children from the NGO Anjali House will also participate in workshops that will introduce them to the art of photography and they will be tutored by mostly Cambodian festival alumni.

Activities and launches during the festival include:

Dec 5, 7pm: Opening night of the exhibition. Cambodia: Our Vision at Republic Bar and Kitchen.

Dec 8, 8pm: An evening projection will showcase festival alumni work at Village Café gallery.

Dec 9, 7.30pm and Dec 11, 8pm: Projections curated by alumnis Wawi Navarroza (Philippines) and Anshika Varma (India) at Bambu Stage.

Dec 10, 4pm, Projection 7.30pm: Children’s Day at Republic Bar and Kitchen.

Dec 12, 8pm: Closing night projection will show results of the professional workshop at The Republic Bar and Kitchen

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