Cambodia Searches for New Faces For Tourism in 2000

A film company and the Ministry of Culture made steps toward defining the new face of Cambodia Monday, selecting 32 women as semi-finalists in a cultural and modeling contest.

Konica film, the major sponsor for “The Cambodian New Face of the Year 2000,” has teamed up with the ministry and other sponsors in a beauty contest designed to “increase opportunities” for women in the country, said Frederick Pang, a representative of the company.

“Women are not given opportunities in society to learn, or for social development, or things like that,” Pang said. Konica will help out the eventual six winners by providing cultural, etiquette and modeling training.

Sixty-eight contestants had been whittled down from an original 128 applicants, based on facial and overall appearance and knowledge of Khmer culture, according to Alain Salvoralli, a judge in the competition. Interviews of the contestants Monday narrowed the field down to 32 semi-finalists.

The women, aged from 18 to 25, will undergo cultural and modeling training as they prepare for the next round of cuts.

Semi-finals will be held in Sihanoukville April 29. Twenty finalists will compete in the finals in Phnom Penh on May 20.

Six winners will receive prize money and a trip to Singapore to attend a modeling school there and possibly enter a regional competition, Salvoralli said. First prize is $300.

“We want them to be able to present Khmer culture to the international community,” Pang said.


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