High season is nigh, cash registers are being primed, and festivals are set to break out across the Kingdom. The fact that this year’s Water Festival has been officially cancelled hasn’t seemed to put a damper on festive outbreaks.
Siem Reap, of course, is the hottest province, kicking off with the high-profile Angkor Photo Festival, which runs from November 19 to 26.
Later in the month, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor will host the Japanese Dance Festival, though dates for this have apparently been changed because of the rampant flooding.
From February 17 to 19, the inaugural Angkor Wat International Film Festival will be staged. This is organised by a Maui, Hawaii-based group headed by Dr Tom Vendetti, who is also a part-time filmmaker.
He produced and directed the film Bhutan: Taking the Middle Path To Happiness, which won two Emmys in 2010.
The free festival will be held at the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, and an idiosyncratic highlight (well, for some anyway) will be the screening of Bernie’s Story – a tribute to Bernie Krisher, a Japanese-based former journalist who publishes a newspaper in Phnom Penh. Krisher is also listed as a “founding advisor” for the festival.
Strong rumours abound that another publisher who is embarking on the festival path is Asia Life honcho Mark Bibby Jackson. He’s apparently involved in the planning of a music festival to be staged in Temple Town sometime next year. The hush hush project is in its early stages.
Meanwhile in the capital, the fourth Festival PhotoPhnomPenh will run from November 26 to December 2. While this runs off the back of the photo festival in Siem Reap, different organisers are involved.
The festival will feature eight Cambodian and 16 international photographers, with work being displayed in nearly 20 venues.
In another highlight, the 8th International Music Festival Phnom Penh will be run by the Art+ Foundation from November 3 to 7, with free admission to all concerts.
Most of the action takes place at 7pm each evening at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center, where there will be a gala opening on Thursday November 3, a song recital on Friday November 4, a solo violin recital on Sunday November 6, and the grand finale on Monday November 7.
Also, on Saturday November 5 at 7pm there will be a piano recital at the InterContinental Phnom Penh.
This will feature Swiss-Spanish pianist Katia Michel, who will perform a piano recital “where Liszt meets Schubert.”
Katia Michel has performed in Europe, the US and Central America, and in prestigious venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall.
She recently released a solo CD featuring works of Isaac Albeniz on the label Columna Musica, and received the Rosa Sabater prize for Spanish music in the 2010 Jaen International Competition.
On top of all this, LengPleng.com advises that the Kheltival Festival, a celebration of Celtic music, will be held at Wat Bothum in December.
The third Friendship Festival will also be held over two days in Battambang in December, and will feature DJs, live music from Phnom Penh and circus performances by local legendary institution, the Phare Ponleau Selpak.
In the last week of December, and of course the last week of 2011, the eight-day Totally Resurrected Festival will happen on the edge of Ream National Park, near Sihanoukville.