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Biggest photo fest ever

In your face or what? From a pictorial series titled Displaced: The Cambodian Diaspora – USA that will feature at this year's Angkor Photo Festival. Photo © Pete Pin / Magnum Foundation

The program preview for this year’s Angkor Photo Festival has been released, and the festival, now in its eighth edition, will be bigger with a record number of submissions and exhibitions.

The festival will be held from December 1- 8, and Jessica Lim, the festival’s Asia coordinator, is obviously upbeat about this year’s response.

She told Insider, “We had a really amazing response to our call for applications, receiving a record number of over 1,200 submissions. This year, the program will be showcasing more photographers, about 130 photographers from over 65 countries. That's a lot of amazing work to look at.”

But the increased showcasing of photographers will not come at the cost of the quality. Jessica added, “As always, our priority when planning for the festival is maintaining the quality of the program, ensuring that it remains cosy and accessible for as many photographers as possible, and that we serve out our objective of highlighting photographers from Asia.”

This year there’ll be an added emphasis on outdoor exhibitions, and the contributions from the popular Blowup program – a sort of photographic graffiti – will also be ramped up.

Jessica said, “The outdoor exhibitions that we're having this year will be rather spectacular. There will be more details to come about all of them, but for now, I can say the group show exhibition by Greenpeace is a massive story that is in production and will be shown for the first time at the festival.

“Our local outreach activities are also having a revamp.  Blowup Angkor this year will be more mobile, more accessible, and while I can't give more details now as we are in the planning stage, I can say we will be using technology to really bring photography to the masses.”

Jessica also gave an insight into new developments that give her a buzz.

“Personally, I'm looking forward to Andri Tambunan's exhibition. Since he won the inaugural 2011 Reminders Project Asian Photographers Grant last year, he has been working really hard on his winning project, documenting the AIDS/HIV epidemic in Papua, Indonesia. One year later, it is going to be really interesting to see what he has accomplished. It is really great for us that we've been able to be involved in some way in this project, from the start to the end.

“Also, I'm really keen to see the group shows that we're going to have. Group shows have a different energy, and it is always great to see one that is curated well.  Japanese photographers are becoming more exposed now, and the Tanto Tempo Cafe Gallery from Japan is putting together Labyrinth, a rather unique exhibition of six Japanese photographers. Another one would be Birthmark on the Map, a collaborative project by a blog community from Russia, which aims to capture everyday life in Russian provinces.”

Siem Reap Insider will be running regular festival updates in the coming weeks.

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