SIEM REAP,
CAMBODIA

STORY PITCHES- SEPTEMBER 2021

     Like many cities around the globe, Siem Reap, Cambodia, was once a vibrant tourist hotspot bustling with thousands of visitors from around the world (largely seeking a glimpse of the nearby Angkor Wat Archeological complex). Today, Siem Reap resembles a post-apocalyptic* "ghost-town." 

 

Relying heavily on the income generated by the tourism industry, the local population has been hit especially hard following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. With much of the local population already struggling financially, many people fell deeper and deeper into poverty with little or no support from the government following the drastic stop of the industry that fuelled the local economy. 

 

*Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been invested in a major re-construction project of the city’s infrastructure and roadways that will drastically alter the old and pre-pandemic Siem Reap. I've been documenting the COVID-era changes here since the beginning of 2020, and would like share with you a few of the stories that I am currently working on...

Thank you for your interest. 

- Maggie Padlewska

PUB STREET Padlewska.jpg

Central Siem Reap "Pub Street" under construction. / Maggie Padlewska

SHORTS:

SOCIETY

1) THE SOCIAL TOLL OF COVID IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

SHORT FORM DOCUMENTARY / PERSONAL NARRATIVES

Formerly able to support their families through their modest business ventures, they've been left to fend for themselves. 

 

This is a film about three characters, whose stories I've been documenting and following since March 2020. It highlights the devastating impacts of the pandemic on the lives of a guesthouse owner, a designer and shopkeeper, and a female tuk-tuk driver (unknown to each other) whose lives have been shattered by the drastic stop of tourism. While their stories highlight the very real and tragic toll of the pandemic on the Siem Reap community, it also celebrates the incredible resilience of Cambodian people. 

ARTS

2) SIEM REAP'S PERFORMANCE & ART SCENE (The Struggle)

SHORT FORM DOCUMENTARY / PERSONAL NARRATIVES

Their audiences have disappeared, their dreams have been challenged, but they say they must remain hopeful despite their heartbreaking struggles. This film focuses on four of Siem Reap's most beloved artistic troupes and performers, whose lives been shattered by the pandemic. 

This short film focuses on the fall and hardship experienced by members of Siem Reap's artistic community, as well as their  can be produced as a single piece or as four separate/individual stories.  (TBD)

LONG FORM DOCUMENTARY: (IN PROGRESS)

Working Title: THE REFUGE: "If there's no Jungle, There's no Sanctuary"

LONG FORM DOCUMENTARY  (Approx. 56-01:20 mins)

After a six-year struggle by countless animal rights defenders, news of Asian elephant Kaavan's successful rescue and relocation mission from a decrepit zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, to the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary gripped global headlines on November 30th, 2020. His incredible arrival via a Russian cargo plane at the Siem Reap International Airport triggered a media frenzy - largely due, however, to the involvement and brief appearance of American entertainer, Cher.

This film is not about that. It's about exposing the shocking reality behind a story that melted the hearts of people around the globe. 

DOCUMENTING STORIES in an around SIEM REAP SINCE 2017
mpadlewska@gmail.com