Queer East Festival 2024
17 — 28 April
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Lotus Sports Club + Q&A
Cambodia, 2022

Documentary, Q&A,
Directed by
Vanna Hem, Tommaso Colognese
Running time
72 mins

Filmed in Cambodia over the course of five years, Lotus Sports Club is an inspiring coming-of-age documentary about Leak, a teenage trans man who plays football in the under-21s women’s team of Kampong Chhnang, and Pa Vann, the coach and father-figure to Leak and other LGBTQ+ players on the team. Pa Vann established the football team in 2009 to encourage solidarity among straight, lesbian and gender-diverse players. He also opened his home to more vulnerable, often homeless teenagers including Leak, providing these players with a sanctuary in which to be themselves. However Leak, under pressure to make more money for his family and forced off the football team because of his age, must take the heart-breaking decision to move to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, leaving behind the one person he loves the most. 

Director Bio

Born in 1984, Cambodian 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 various short-form documentaries and social videos for International NGOs. Lotus Sports Club is his first feature length documentary.  

Born in 1974 in Italy, Tommaso Colognese is an independent filmmaker and producer based in London. His credits across the production department include major films such as Nine, Inception, Hugo, Skyfall, and WWZ, as well as independent projects including the award-winning sci-fi short The Nostalgist. Lotus Sports Club is his feature film directorial debut. 

Additional info

This screening will be followed by an online conversation with the film’s directors, Vanna Hem and Tommaso Colognese and its gender consultant Chhim Putsalun, moderated by Shanshan Chen, documentary filmmaker.


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