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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer photos showcased

Khmer photos showcased

P HOTOGRAPHER and occasional painter Mak Remissa scooped the field in

the first Khmer photography contest organized by the Foreign Correspondents Club

of Cambodia (FCCC).

Remissa, of the French-language Cambodge Soir newspaper, won the top prize and also

tied for third place in the competition, which attracted more than 100 entries from

10 photographers.

Remissa, aged 29, is a University of Fine Arts graduate who says he initially intended

to be a painter but developed an interest in photography. Since he graduated in 1995,

he has worked as a photographer but still paints from time to time.

A photograph of the young son of slain journalist Thun Bun Ly, weeping in front of

a police riot shield during his father's funeral march last May, won Remissa first


Fellow Cambodge Soir cameraman Chan Vitharin picked up second prize for a picture

of a mother and child at a squatters camp on the banks of the Tonle Bassac.

Third place was a tie between another photograph of Remissa's - a close-up shot of

the intertwined hands of a bride and groom at a wedding - and veteran photographer

Ou Neakiry's picture of two homeless people napping in front of a movie theater billboard.

Neakiry, who worked for the Associated Press in the 1970s and was the only former

photographer for foreign media organizations to survive the Pol Pot regime, now again

works for the Associated Press.

The competition was sponsored by the FCCC, from the proceeds of an auction of photographs

of the former Khmer Rouge, and the Reuters new agency. The judges were former Magnum

photo agency president Philip Jones Griffiths, whose 40 years of photography have

included covering Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, and Time magazine east-Asia photographer

Greg Davis.

Organizer Darren Whiteside, of Reuters, said it was planned to make the contest an

annual event.

At the award ceremony at the FCCC May 17, the winners enthusiastically accepted prizes

including cameras, lens, camera bags and other accessories.

"I am very happy," said Remissa. "I think the photo contest can help

photographers to be better and better, so we can also help our country.

"There are not many photographers in Cambodia, and I hope next time there will

be more, and ones who are better than me," he said modestly.

Photos from the competition are on display at the FCCC.



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