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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man About Town: 2 Sep 2011

Man About Town: 2 Sep 2011

Film festivals seem to be bobbing up all over the region, and last week it was announced that Siem Reap will have one too, from February 17 to 19 next year.

The festival’s organisers are based in Hawaii, and it’s early days yet, so the festival’s website has no mention of what films will be screened.

When the ‘About Us’ tag is clicked, the only information is a bio of the main organiser of the Hawaiian venture, Dr Thomas Vendetti.

According to this bio, Vendetti is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who “combines his work as a psychologist and his passion as a filmmaker to direct and produce award-winning films that have been viewed around the world.”

The website bio adds: “Tom most recently directed Bhutan: Taking the Middle Path To Happiness, which earned him an Emmy for his role of producer. He also directed and produced numerous award-winning films such as Sacred Tibet: The Path to Mount Kailish, Fiji Firewalkers, Years of Darkness and Journey Inside Tibet.

“Tom is passionate about making and promoting documentary programs that lead to social change.”

Reading blogs does at times elicit fascinating tidbits of information, and a blog item by Shelby Lee is no exception.

Shelby, or Daughter Shelby as she is officially designated by her fellow missionaries from Antioch Church, is spreading the word in Cambodia and she wrote: “Angelina Jolie stays at the Prison Hotel when she visits Siem Reap. At least that’s what Sopanha tell us. It’s not the real name of the hotel, of course, only what our tour guide calls it because you can’t get close to it or see inside.”

An interesting observation because “Prison Hotel” – or Amansara Hotel as it is known in real life – does have a bunker-style atmosphere about it.

It’s one of the few hotels in the world which has absolutely no outside signage, hence few people would know it’s a hotel. It also has security guards outside its locked gates to prevent prying eyes from disturbing the privacy of its wealthy guests, such as Angelina Jolie who stayed there during her recent Louis Vuitton advertisement photo shoot.

Meanwhile, Annie Leibovitz, the celebrity photographer who took the celebrity ad photos of Jolie, stayed at the nearby Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor.

Man About’s canine charge, Dog About Town, lost his bearings and went missing after panicking and running away from a close call with a car.

Man About mobilised the town’s tuk tuk drivers and told them to be on alert for the missing mutt, posting a reward of $10.

But Man About’s cultural adviser and personal tuk tuk driver, Mr Robb Vann, urged for a larger reward.

Robb Vann explained that some local restaurants pay $15 for a nice, fat, well-fed dog to serve roasted to clientele.

So Man About upped the reward to $20, and two days later a tuk tuk driver captured the dog and duly delivered it for the reward.

The lesson for all Siem Reap dog owners is to budget more than $15 for a lost dog reward, elsewise the woofer could end up roasted rather than safely back home.



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