Public Programs: Bridging Cultures through Film

Period of Performance

2/1/2012 - 6/30/2013

Funding Totals

$74,804.00 (approved)
$74,804.00 (awarded)

The Haing S. Ngor Film Project

FAIN: TW-50203-12

Dr. Haing S. Ngor Foundation (Santa Monica, CA 90405-3659)
Arthur Dong (Project Director: July 2011 to April 2014)

Development of a 90-minute documentary film examining Cambodian actor Haing Ngor's experiences during the Cambodian genocide and his life in America afterwards.

"The Haing S. Ngor Film Project" (working title) chronicles the life and times of actor and humanitarian, Haing S. Ngor, a Khmer Rouge prison survivor who escaped to America and won a 1985 Oscar for his role in "The Killing Fields", despite having no prior acting experience. After this surprising win, Ngor continued to act and used his celebrity to bring attention to the destruction of Cambodia under the Pol Pot regime and to appeal for help to rebuild his homeland. "The Haing S. Ngor Film Project" follows Ngor's journey -- from a privileged life in Phnom Penh up to his 1996 murder in a case still clouded with questions of international politics. Known mostly for his movie career, Ngor's story reflects a complex interplay of history, religion, race relations, class struggle, and deep-rooted cultural dimensions that transformed "an island of peace" in war-torn Southeast Asia into "a nation at war with itself."