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Directed by Vanna Hem & Tommaso Colognese
Netherlands, Cambodia | 2022 | Documentary | 72 min
Filmed over the course of five years, Lotus Sports Club is an inspiring coming-of-age story about the only LGBTQ+-inclusive soccer team in Cambodia. 61-year-old Pa Vann—the coach and father figure—established the Kampong Chhnang team in 2009 to encourage solidarity among straight, gay, and gender-diverse players. Opening his home to the more vulnerable, outcasted teenagers on the team, Pa Vann creates a safe place for them to be themselves. Full of love, empathy, and kick-ass soccer tricks, this heartfelt documentary centres around Leak, a young trans man who plays for the under-21 team and has lived under coach Pa Vann’s care for many years. As he ages out of the league, Leak must make a decision that could mean leaving behind the one person he loves the most.
TW: The film contains scenes with transphobic and homophobic comments.
Virtual Q&A: Lotus Sports Club
Date/Time: 9/14 (Thu) 8PM EDT
Location: Virtual on Zoom
Join us for a virtual Q&A with Director Vanna Hem and the film’s cultural and gender consultant, Putsalun (“Salun”) Chhim. Ticket and pass holders will receive a link to join the Zoom later via email.
Vanna Hem (he/him) | Director
Born in 1984, Cambodian documentary filmmaker Vanna Hem has established himself as one of the leading voices in Cambodia in the arena of social and LGBTQ+ films. His credits include the short-form documentaries Lives Under the Red Light (2014), Karma (2013) and Where Do I Belong? (2016) which have all been selected in many international film festivals. Since 2015, Vanna has been working on his first feature-length documentary Lotus Sports Club, while shooting videos for many other NGOs. He currently lives in Phnom Penh.
Putsalun (“Salun”) Chhim (prefers name) | Cultural & Gender Consultant
Putsalun Salun Chhim is a fourth-year PhD student in the School of English at the University of Hong Kong, specialising in sociolinguistics. Salun's current research focuses on the complex relationship between language use and gender identity markers within Cambodia's LGBTQ+ community. As a queer Cambodian academic, Salun's keen awareness extends to the nuanced interplay between Western notions of gender and identity and the efforts to harmonize them with the cultural values inherent to Cambodia, a representation of the broader Global South, particularly in the Southeast Asian context.
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Virtual Pass (Virtual only): $29.00
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