Cambodia, 2014

⇒ To see the full-length documentary, click here.

This film documentary is about the lives of two lady-boy sex workers Pao and Srey Leak in Phnom Penh who face sexual violence and ignorance from the society. Pao and Srey Leak become sisters, living together and taking care each other after their families had kicked them out. The intense, observational documentary ‘Karma?’ tells the story of the hard life of HIV-positive transgender sex workers and of coming of age in Phnom Penh. This documentary also shows the strength of friendship.

Vanna Hem, why did you want to tell this story?

“LGBT in Cambodia are facing a lot of discrimination and they do not have the same rights as other people, because of ignorance in society and in their communities. Pao and Srey Leak were kicked out by their families and ended up becoming involved in prostitution and drugs. They missed out on an education and have no job opportunities like other people. As I am one of the film makers in Cambodia, I really wanted to raise this topic and make the film so that people will be aware of what these people are facing. I hope that the media will bring about changes, step by step, and that all people will equal and considered equally valuable. There are many stories of LGBT in Cambodia that need to be told, so I hope to get more chances to make films about them.”

Vanna Hem about Document Our History Now:

“Through the funding of Document Our History Now, I got a chance to produce two films (‘Gay Pride 2012 Phnom Penh’ and ‘Karma’), which highlighted the issue of LGBT in Cambodia.”

Exposure so far:

  • Article in Phnom Penh Post, daily newspaper Cambodia, October 2014
  • Screening at Metahouse, German Cultural Centre, fundraising for protagonist, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 2014
  • Screening at QCpinkfestival, Quezon City International Pink Festival, Philippines, December 2014
  • Screening at Phnom Penh International Film Festival, Cambodia, December 2014
  • Screening at KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, India, May 2015
  • Screening at Metahouse, German Cultural Centre, Gay pride program 2015, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 2015