EXCLUSIVE: UK sales firm Independent has sold SXSW-winning documentary The Donut King to key markets with Vice picking the film up for the world excluding North America, UK/Ireland, Japan, Australia/New Zealand and Portugal.
New deals on the film also comprise 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 well-received feature, which chronicles the rags-to-riches-to-rags story of Cambodian refugee-turned-‘Donut King’ Ted Ngoy, was previously due to premiere in this year’s SXSW Documentary Feature Competition lineup before the festival’s cancellation due to Covid. The film went on to receive a Special Jury Award from the SXSW jury.
Vice will include the film on The Short List with Suroosh Alvi, an upcoming series from recently-launched Vice World News. The collection of acclaimed documentaries will be curated by Vice Media co-founder Alvi.
Alice Gu’s directorial debut charts the rise and fall of Ngoy, a refugee who escaped the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia for America where in the 1970s he built an unlikely multi-million dollar donut empire. Ngoy 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 his steep rise would ultimately lead to a crashing fall.
The Donut King is a Logan Industry production in association with Scott Free Productions. 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.
Director Gu said: “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.” Gu is repped by Gersh and Luber Roklin Entertainment.