Two acclaimed short films to get free screening in Phnom Penh

The Phnom Penh Post
Written by Anita Surewicz

Jason Rosette’s award-winning BookWars examines the lives of street vendors, while a young rocker discovers AC/DC in Vuth Learns to Rock

TWO films, BookWars (2000) and Vuth Learns to Rock (2008), produced by Camerado, a Phnom Penh media company, will be screened in the capital this weekend.

The critically acclaimed documentary, BookWars, directed by Jason Rosette, the mastermind behind Camerado, and co-produced by Academy Award nominated producer-filmmaker Michel Negroponte, depicts the “gritty world of New York City street booksellers … told in a remarkable story that chronicles their lives, their loves, and their unique perspectives on life … see the NYPD, the University, and the Mayor try to shut them down!” states a Camerado newsletter.

Winner of the New York Underground Film Festival and IFP Gotham Award nominee, BookWars’ action unfolds in New York’s two bookselling hotspots, the Washington Square Park area and on Sixth Avenue, where Rosette himself began selling books in the mid-1990s.

Turning fierce
The film depicts the trials and tribulations of a diverse cast of characters including Pete, an artist who started buying used books to gather collage material and ended up selling them; Thomas, who becomes a fierce community organizer when the bookselling scene begins to disintegrate; and Rick, a young street magician and friend of Rosette.

The event will also feature a sneak preview of the new film Vuth Learns to Rock, starring Phnom Penh’s own Jun “Rocker” from Zepplin Rock Cafe. This will be the first public screening of this “short rock-doc about a young Cambodian named Vuth who learns the ways of rock and roll from a Master Rocker – watch as Vuth hears the Ramones, the Kinks, AC/DC and others for the first time,” says the Camerado newsletter.

The screenings will be held on the top floor of Pannasastra University, 184 Norodom Boulevard, at 3pm on Saturday. Rosette will attend to facilitate discussion and answer questions following the screenings.

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Local film takes its viewers to war-torn 1970s Cambodia

TV & Media Editor

“Residue,” a locally produced short dramatic film about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement in Cambodia in 1970, will be screened Sunday in Mobile.

Made by filmmakers Nathaniel Nuon, Jared Davis and Wade Miller under their Sothea Pictures banner, the film soon will be showcased as well at three film festivals in southern California. It is an official selection of the Temecula Valley International Film Festival, the San Diego Asian Film Festival and the San Diego Film Festival.

In Mobile on Sunday, the film will be shown at The Wine Loft at 9 Du Rhu Dr. Admission is free, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the screening beginning at 7:30 p.m.

“Residue,” which was largely shot at a pre-renovation historic home in Fort Conde Village and in other Mobile locations, was directed by Nuon from a script written by Davis and Nuon.

Miller, producer of the film, described the story it tells as “controversial and intriguing” as it deals with the CIA’s involvement in Cambodia and then picks up six years later for “the chilling aftermath.”

“Residue” is fiction based on history, Miller said. Providing backdrops for the story are the Lon Nol coup d’etat of 1970 and the rule of the Khmer Rouge in 1976.

“We are shedding some light on a part of history that is not taught much, especially in the United States,” Miller told the Press-Register.

When the film begins, the war in Vietnam has begun to spread across that country’s border with neutral Cambodia. Fearing the spread of communism, Miller explained, the CIA targeted Cambodia for clandestine operations.

The story focuses on a group of 12 secret army Cambodian soldiers trained by the CIA to take out communist Vietnamese targets inside Cambodia in order to make way for a new pro-American government.

But once the coup is successfully executed, one by one each member of this secret team is killed.

Partway through the film, the scene shifts forward six years, with the Khmer Rouge in power and thousands of people dying daily. One young man escapes capture and sets out on his own personal war against those he feels are responsible for what is happening in his country.

“When your country is in peril, what would you do?” asks screenwriter Davis in a media release supporting the film. “How far would you take it? Sometimes you have to do what is best for your country. Sometimes people do terrible, horrific things like fight wars, and take human lives, not because they are necessarily evil people, but because they believe with all their conviction and soul that they are doing the right thing for their families, themselves and for their country.”

Director Nuon said the two time periods depicted in “Residue” were “crucial years” when Cambodians hoped and strove for peace only to find their country engulfed in civil war and then genocide.

The director made reference to The Killing Fields, a collective name for a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979.

Nuon said that in the film “the Khmer genocide is like a character in itself, always present, and always looming over the characters haunting them every step of the way.”

Miller said that while “Residue” was shortened to meet the submission criteria of the festivals, those who attend the screening in Mobile Sunday may be treated to a longer, 23-minute cut. It is possible, too, that the film will be shown more than once at The Wine Loft on Sunday to accommodate whatever size crowd turns out, the producer said.

“We took some behind-the-scenes footage and pictures,” he said. “We’ll be showing that, too.”

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Awards spotlight businesses in VN, Laos and Cambodia

HA NOI (VNS) — An awards programme for outstanding enterprises and businesses in Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam will be held in Ha Noi early next year.

The event is jointly organised by the Viet Nam Association for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise, the Ministry of Defence’s Economic Department and the Association for Economic Development of Viet Nam-Laos-Cambodia.

Prizes will be given to outstanding enterprises and business people who run their business effectively and have been active in social charity work.

“Prizes will also be given to enterprises and business people earning outstanding achievements and investing in economic development in the three countries,” said organisers.

Eligibility for the competition requires enterprises and business people to have actively contributed to the friendship between the three countries; earned high growth rates from high-quality products; have strong and attractive trade-marks as well as a good business culture while obeying laws and protecting the environment.

Judges for the competition will include representatives from relevant ministries, the embassies of Laos and Cambodia in Viet Nam and Vietnamese embassies in Laos and Cambodia.

Representative from friendship associations between the three countries will also be on the judging panel.

Applications can be submitted from now until November 30, 2008. — VNS

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Tanzania turns to Cambodia for development advice

The Earth Times

Phnom Penh – A delegation from the East African nation of Tanzania visited Cambodia to discuss development in areas that included tourism and agriculture and also pledged to promote Cambodia’s bid for UN Security Council membership, local media reported Thursday. The Khmer-language Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper said a delegation led by Omar Ramadhan Mapuri, who has served as Tanzania’s ambassador to China since 2006, met with a range of government representatives and also discussed strategies for mining and eco-tourism.

It quoted Foreign Ministry Secretary of State Ouch Borin as saying Mapuri also pledged to lobby his government to support Cambodia’s bid to become a temporary member of the UN Security Council in 2013. Election to the UN’s highest decision-making body has been a long-held ambition of the Cambodian government. Mapuri promised a second Tanzanian delegation would visit Cambodia in the near future, the paper said.

បានចុះផ្សាយក្នុង Development, Diplomacy. ពាក្យ​គន្លឹះ៖ , , . Leave a Comment »

Cambodia’s population approaches 14 million

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — Cambodia’s population is approaching 14 million people, more than half of whom are women, according to preliminary results from the first general census, local media reported Thursday.

“According to the preliminary results, the population of Cambodia stood at 13,388,910 at midnight on March 3, 2008, consisting of 6,495,512 males and 6,893,398 females,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, who also chairs the National Census Committee, was quoted as saying in the Phnom Penh Post.

The provisional figures at the national level indicate that the total fertility rate and growth rate of the population has slowed down as predicted, he added.

The census also found that while Cambodia remains a largely rural country, more people were living in cities, the newspaper said.

The average household contained 4.7 people, according to census figures.

The projected annual growth rate in 2010 is expected to be 1.54percent, still higher than that of East Asia, which stands at 1.3 percent.

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Embedded Travel Guide Cambodia: Elephants in Mondulkiri

The jaunted

Jack Highwood loves elephants. The 26-year-old Englishman is no softy around people, but put him next to one of his beloved elephants and Jack will go all misty-eyed, clucking and cooing like a proud grandmother.

Getting your photo taken on top of an elephant in Cambodia is a piece of cake. Just go to Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh or catch a ride on one of the elephants that carries tourists around the temples of Angkor.

But if you really want to commune with the beasts, you need to brave the 10-hour bus-ride to Mondulkiri–and you need to get in touch with Jack Highwood.

East to Mondulkiri:
Mondulkiri is one of Cambodia’s frontier provinces, a vast area of upland forest on the border with Vietnam. Getting to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh isn’t easy, but the first half of the trip is on good pavement, and the jungle scenery on the second half almost makes up for the brutal potholes.

The capital of Mondulkiri is a dusty town called Sen Monorom, where you’ll find a smattering of decent guesthouses and exactly one bar. The bar is called The Middle of Somewhere and was started by none other than Jack Highwood, who realized soon after moving to Mondulkiri that if he wanted a gin and tonic, he’d have to make it himself.

These days Mondulkiri is seeing something of an economic boom. Gold mining has always been a cottage industry in the hills, but now multinational mining companies are drooling over the prospects of untapped veins, and the Cambodian government is bulldozing new roads through the once-virgin forest.

Hill Tribes and Elephants:
Mondulkiri is home to many of Cambodia’s ethnic minorities, semi-nomadic peoples who traditionally scratched a living from the hills by farming and logging. The hill tribesmen domesticated elephants to serve as beasts of burden, but now modern machinery has made the elephants obsolete. Many of the animals are now out of a job, and their owners don’t have the incentive or the resources to properly care for them.

So if the domesticated elephants of Mondulkiri are going to survive, they need to pay for their own keep. Tourism is one solution; for a few years now locals have organized elephant treks for travelers passing through.

The tours are a good way to get income to the hill-tribe communities, but not all elephants are able to haul tourists around, and there isn’t enough money to go around.

Enter the Elephant Sanctuary:
Jack Highwood’s mission is to create a sanctuary for retired elephants where they can live out their days in dignity and peace. The sanctuary will be coupled with an eco-tourism project, providing travelers with the unique opportunity to stay alongside elephants.

Elephants are already moving into the sanctuary, and Jack hopes to welcome the first guests to the eco-lodge in November 2008. Visit his website for details, and tell him Tim sent you.

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Cambodia: MPA Security discriminates against unionists

UNI global union

Cambodia’s largest security company is refusing to abide by the decision of the Cambodian Arbitration Council that it must reinstate and compensate some its workers who are trying to organise.

Airport security workers in Siem Reap established a union on 10 July 2007. Their employer, MPA Security, which is the largest security company in Cambodia, told workers on the same day that it would not recognise the union.

A few days later, workers met with the company’s management to discuss a number of industrial issues, including denial of time off, underpayment of entitlements such as overtime, irregular salary payments, financial penalties for workers who refuse overtime, arbitrary termination of employment and discrimination against women on the basis of pregnancy. Rather than addressing these issues, MPA unilaterally transferred the employment of 17 unionised workers to Phnom Penh airport a few days later.

The Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation (CTSWF) brought a complaint to the Cambodian Arbitration Council which decided in favour of the workers in January 2008, ordering their compensation and reinstatement.

UNI and the CTSWF are calling on the company to right the wrongs against its workers by honouring the Council’s decision.

បានចុះផ្សាយក្នុង Discrimination, Job/Career. ពាក្យ​គន្លឹះ៖ , , . Leave a Comment »