30 November 2020

London, 30th Nov 2020  Independent has widely sold the SXSW winning documentary THE DONUT KING, with VICE acquiring the film in a multi-territory deal. The film which chronicles the rags to riches to rags story of a Cambodian refugee named Ted Ngoy, was previously due to premiere in this year’s SXSW Documentary Feature Competition lineup before the fest’s cancellation due to Covid. The film went on to receive a Special Jury Award recognizing Achievement in Documentary Storytelling from the SXSW Jury. The documentary is a Logan Industry production in association with Scott Free Productions.

Alice Gu’s ‘The Donut King’ has been acquired by VICE and will be featured in "The Short List with Suroosh Alvi," an upcoming series from VICE World News. The Short List is a collection of the world’s best documentaries curated by VICE founder Suroosh Alvi.

Building off the success of VICE News in the U.S, VICE World News is a newly-launched content hub from VICE Media Group, producing hundreds of hours of international television, digital and audio news programming for a global audience.  The premium documentaries, docu-series and original podcasts will focus on the core issues that so define VICE's content: extremism, climate, drugs, privacy, politics, inequality and race.

The film has also been sold to UK and Ireland (Sky), Australia (Madman), Japan (Twin), Portugal (Nos Lusomundo) and Airlines (Aardwolf). Greenwich Entertainment released the film in North America last month, screening it across virtual cinemas.

THE DONUT KING is the directorial debut of Alice Gu, whose career in film began as a cinematographer. The film was inspired by a conversation with her babysitter about the origin of “Cambodian Donuts”, and in her subsequent research she discovered the incredible story of Ted Ngoy, the titular Donut King.

Producers are Tom Moran for Scott Free, Jose Nunez, Alice Gu, and Farhad Amid. Ridley Scott serves as Executive Producer for Scott Free, with Freida Lee Mock, Andres Rosillo, Juliana Lemus, and Jonny Hwang also serving as Executive Producers.

The film tells the rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a refugee who escaped Cambodia, arrived in America and 1975, and built an unlikely multi-million dollar empire baking America’s favourite pastry, the donut. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1979 he was living the American Dream. But, in life, great rise can come with great falls.

Director Alice Gu says “I couldn't be more thrilled for THE DONUT KING to be available to a global audience.  Though a large portion of our story takes place in America, the refugee crisis is a global one, and an immigrant story is familiar across the world.  I’m eternally grateful for VICE and all our global partners for embracing the film and hope audiences will enjoy learning about Ted Ngoy and the power of kindness and hard work”

Head of Sales at Independent, Sarah Lebutsch says : ‘We are delighted about the distributors’ response to THE DONUT KING. With VICE leading the field in a multi territory acquisition for their new content hub VICE WORLD NEWS, we have a group of wonderful partners enthusiastic about presenting this timely and uplifting documentary to their audiences.’

Alice Gu is repped by Gersh.

Editor Notes

About Independent

INDEPENDENT specializes in the development, financing, production and sales of independent feature films. Led by CEO Luc Roeg, COO Cora Palfrey and Managing Director Andrew Orr, Independent has a team of highly motivated and experienced professionals with expertise in project development, production, structured finance, sales and marketing.

Independent acquires third party rights to manage through its sales division. Latest titles include the documentary The Art of Political Murder executive produced by George Clooney and Blinder Films’ The Racer, a sports drama set in the world of Tour de France. A Good Woman is Hard to Find, directed by Abner Pastoll and released by Film Movement in the US this May, and Dirty God, directed by Sacha Polak, which was in official selection at both Sundance and Rotterdam.

Upcoming titles include Gavin Rothery’s sci-fi Archive and Michael Arden’s The Book of Ruth.

Previously the sales team worked on Jim Jarmusch’s Gimme Danger, Duncan Jones’ Moon, Michael Winterbottom’s On the Road, Banksy’s Exit Through the Giftshop and many more.


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