The Donut King
Walk into one of the hundreds of donut shops in Southern California – the land of glitz also happens to be the country’s donut capital – and odds are it’s Cambodian-owned and operated. That traces to one remarkable man, Bun Tek “Ted” Ngoy, who escaped his homeland’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime to build an Orange County-based empire and gain fame as the Donut King.
It’s a journey that epitomized the American Dream … before hitting heartbreak.
Through interviews and archival and contemporary footage, Ngoy’s rags-to-riches story is compellingly told in the award-winning 2020 documentary The Donut King, which is featured in the latest online installment of the Indie Lens Pop-Up cinema initiative. The 90-minute film is screened, and director Alice Gu and producer José Nuñez headline a live-chat discussion that follows. Among those joining them is Ted Ngoy’s niece, Mayly Tao, who operates DK's Donuts & Bakery in Santa Monica, California, and a delivery-only donut bouquet concept, Donut Princess LA.
The online event is co-presented by the Center for Asian American Media in collaboration with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Justice in San Antonio, Texas; the Bud Werner Memorial Library; city of Mesa (Arizona) Community Services; Connecticut Public Television; Georgia Public Broadcasting; Global Peace Film Festival; PBS station KIXE in Redding, California; KQED in San Francisco; National Educational Television, Nebraska's PBS & NPR stations; Panhandle PBS/KACV in Amarillo, Texas; PBS Hawaiʻi; the Tillotson Center in Colebrook, New Hampshire; WSIU Public Broadcasting in Carbondale, Illinois; and the Yale Film Archive. Support comes from ITVS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS.