Friday, December 01, 2006

Cambodia's Forgotten Children - documentary premier

The first of a handful of late nights and early mornings this week - hence the lack of Blog updates - was the premier screening of Matt Wenham and Chris Cook's 30-minute documentary, Cambodia's Forgotten Children on Tuesday at the Picturedrome in Northampton. The film was shot in January as part of their final year project for their media degree course with Matt and Chris' aim to raise awareness of the problems facing Cambodia's children, working with six local NGOs who are assisting the vulnerable and underprivileged kids in Phnom Penh. The main NGO was the Southeast Asian Children's Mercy Fund and they interviewed co-founder and author Sophal Leng Stagg, alongwith representatives from the five other agencies. The documentary was well-constructed and gave the large audience plenty to think about as they settled down to an evening of fundraising activities that included an auction, raffle, live music from Brendan Read-Jones & the Travelling Light band and a stills photography exhibition by Lara Holmes, who joined Matt and Chris for part of their Cambodia trip. A very enjoyable night was had by all and the guys have done a great job with the documentary. I also recommend you have a look at Sara's work at her website and the Children's Mercy Fund website too.

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Tomorrow (Friday 1 December) is the final day of the 2006 Angkor Photography Festival, being held at various venues in Siem Reap, the home of Cambodia's Angkor temples. The festival brings together a veritable who's who of famous and passionate photographers like Philip Jones Griffiths, Roland Neveu, John McDermott and many others in the spirit of creativity and sharing. It showcases print exhibitions and outdoor projections by renowned artists and photo-journalists, but differentiates itself from other festivals with its strong humanitarian goals. By offering free workshops for young Asian photographers and developing outreach projects for needy Cambodian youth, participants contribute their art and their time, demonstrating that photography can really change lives. You can read all about the festival here.
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To find out more about a forthcoming documentary being put together by two professional stuntmen from Florida, Kevin Ball and John Evanko, which they will call Freedon Fields, go to their website here. The film will focus on the work that Mia Hamwey and her Freedom Fields group have been doing to raise funds for vital demining work in Cambodia, with the help of the Halo Trust. Filming will take place in Cambodia and the US early in 2007.

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