Man about town

Man about town

Incredible but true films to show soon
THE Peace Café is holding a special film night on May 1, organised by German journalist Michael Scholten and Theresa Suender, a volunteer at Peace Café.

Feature of the night will be the Spanish documentary film, Good Luck for You Every Day, which will be shown in Khmer with English subtitles.

The 60-minute documentary by Raul Gallego Abellan and Marc Martinez Sarrado tells the “incredible story” of Peng Phan, an actress and founder of the Committee of National Action Culture Association (NACA) orphanage in Phnom Penh.

Peng Phan will attend the screening and answer questions about her life as an actress and surviving the KR.

The Cambodian actress, a policeman’s daughter, was born in Kampong Chhnang in 1953. She joined the army in 1970, and acted in a soldiers’ theatre group. Imprisoned by the Khmer Rouge, she came close to death but managed to escape while hundreds around her, including children, were brutally massacred.

In peaceful times, Peng Phan starred in Rithy Panh’s remarkable drama, Rice People, about a rural family struggling to bring in a single season’s rice crop.

When Rice People premiered in the main competition at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, Peng Phan walked the red carpet in France.

She starred in many more movies like Rithy Panh’s One Evening after the War (1998) and The Burnt Theatre (2005), which both premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Haunted by her memories of children murdered by the Khmer Rouge, Peng Phan decided to devote her life to Cambodia’s youth and turned her home into the orphanage.

Angkor database update
FORMER German high school teacher and long-time resident of Siem Reap, Johann Reinhart Zieger, has released a newly updated online version of his thoroughly researched Angkor Database.

The 25-page PDF resource will be a boon for serious temple researchers. Reinhart, as he prefers to be known, says it contains “essential Angkor knowledge”, which is perhaps an understatement. The database is a fact-packed blockbuster, a shining example of Teutonic efficiency. German text is also available.

Access the database can be found on Reinhart’s website,

Photo fest update
SUBMISSIONS are now open for the seventh annual Angkor Photo Festival to be held in Siem Reap this year from November 19 to 26. Deadline for submitting work is June 15.

Also, the call for applications begins today for the Reminders Project Asian Photographers Grant, a collaborative project by Bangkok-based Japanese photography editor Yumi Goto’s Reminders Project, and the Angkor Photo Festival.

One of the difficulties faced by Asian photographers emerging onto the international scene is finding funding for projects, and the grant helps address this by helping to highlight and promote the work of up-and-coming  Asian photographers.

For more information, visit

NGOS’ NGO meets
THE newly formed Casual Collaboration Cambodia will hold a meeting tomorrow evening from 6pm to 8pm at Villa Siem Reap.

This follows the organisation’s debut meeting on April 2 which was attended by more than 40 people working for Siem Reap-based NGOs, and these look set to become the first couple of many, according to the organisers of Casual Collaboration Cambodia.

Group spokesman Richard James said the monthly meetings are aimed at helping newly arrived expats access information about everything from bank fees to orphanage tourism and allow more seasoned NGO workers to meet other people working in their fields over a drink or two.

The information gathered at meetings will help contribute to an online Wiki page where users can post information about different NGO projects underway in Siem Reap.

James said: “We want members to post information that would have helped them to have known when they first arrived; things like fair prices to pay for rooms and bikes, information about the various NGOs working here and the laws governing starting your own NGO. There’s no restriction on topics covered. It’s about creating an online resource to help people get the answers they need.”