[4], Despite the wealth he had amassed and his importance within his community, Ngoy felt dissatisfied, remarking that he had "No political life, no religious life, just work, work. At 74, he is full of energy and smiling broadly. The Donut King (DVD) : The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. Weaving together two histories hidden in plain sight, the film is a heartwarming yet three-dimensional portrait of a man who lifted hundreds of his shell-shocked countrymen out of poverty and despair, but was later consumed by his own maniacal ambition and zeal. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1987, Ngoy owned 32 Christy's Donuts locations, largely accomplished by living out of a motorhome allowing him and his family to travel up and down the state of California establishing new locations. "[1], After the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in 1993, Ngoy returned to Cambodia for the country's first elections. Bush and encouraged fellow Cambodian immigrants to support the GOP. Upon his return to Orange County, Ngoy began gambling harder than ever stating "Monks cannot help me, Buddha cannot help me. [1], After a particularly devastating gambling loss in 1990, Ngoy flew to Washington, D.C. and joined a Buddhist monastery where he spent a month meditating. Production company: Logan Content Ngoy would make a habit of returning monthly to watch performers such as Tom Jones, Diana Ross and Wayne Newton and indulging in the incentives pit bosses of major casinos offered all the while spending even larger sums at the card tables. Sponsored by a Lutheran church in Orange County, he changed his first name because no one could pronounce it and, at 33 years of age, found a nighttime job pumping gas in … His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. Find contact info for Ted Ngoy - phone number, address, email. {"nid":"1284529","type":"post","title":"SXSW Revives Film Competition Digitally After Festival Cancellation","relative_path":"\/news\/sxsw-revives-film-competition-digitally-festival-cancellation-1284529","media":{"width":1296,"height":730,"extension":"jpg","mime_type":"image\/jpeg","type":"image","path":"https:\/\/static.hollywoodreporter.com\/sites\/default\/files\/2020\/03\/sxsw_2020_banners_-_getty_-_h_2020_-compressed.jpg","sizes":[{"path":"https:\/\/static.hollywoodreporter.com\/sites\/default\/files\/2020\/03\/sxsw_2020_banners_-_getty_-_h_2020_-compressed.jpg","width":1296,"height":730},{"path":"https:\/\/static.hollywoodreporter.com\/sites\/default\/files\/2020\/03\/sxsw_2020_banners_-_getty_-_h_2020_-compressed.jpg","width":1296,"height":730}],"orientation":"landscape","id":"3968614","caption":null,"credit":null}}. After cry, go back gambling." He dissolved his party and accused the government of corruption. Despite never really being a huge success under the previous owners, Christy's became popular under the ownership of the Ngoys. PeopleFinders is the best people search for finding people and public records. By 1977 he was able to purchase his first doughnut shop, Christy's Donuts, in La Habra. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. Privacy Policy | Combined with the archival footage of Democratic and Republican presidents alike embracing immigrants and refugees, Leaders and visionaries like Ted Ngoy benefit the lives of more people than they can even imagine. It's an improbable achievement, and each biographical detail that we get from Gu's film underscores just how unlikely Ngoy's entire life has been, from his innovation of carnation pink as. [7][3], Ngoy's fortunes improved dramatically, such that by the mid-1980s Ngoy had amassed millions of dollars through his expanding doughnut shop empire, reported as 50 locations throughout California. Following his time in the nation's capital, Ngoy spent time in a monastery in the Thai countryside where he spent his morning begging for alms. It’s the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut. [1], When his wife returned to California for the birthday of a grandchild in 1999, Ngoy began an affair with a young woman, serving as the final straw between him and his wife, Christy. Weaving together two histories hidden in plain sight, the film is a heartwarming yet three-dimensional portrait of a man who lifted hundreds of his shell-shocked countrymen out of poverty and despair, but was later consumed by his own maniacal ambition and zeal. Terms of Use | By 2005, after a failed political career in Cambodia, Ngoy was penniless and living on the porch of a fellow Parkcrest Christian Church parishioner's mobile home. It’s the story of Ted Ngoy, a 1970s Cambodian refugee who built a Southern California cruller empire and dedicated himself to enriching the lives of so many of his fellow countryfolk sent to America with nothing. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. In 1975, Ngoy fled the Khmer Rouge with his wife and three children to Camp Pendleton. The titular donut king is 77-year-old Ted Ngoy, who has attained mythic status among many Cambodian Americans in Los Angeles and Orange County since his arrival in the U.S. more than four decades ago. Running Time (minutes): 94. Cinematographer: Alice Gu Within a decade, he had become a multimillionaire with a lakeside mansion, fancy European cars and a doughnut empire in Southern California that even Dunkin’ couldn’t rival there. The Donut King is a tale of the American Dream, but decidedly not one of a model minority. While working a second job at a gas station, Ngoy took notice of a busy local doughnut shop and inquired of its operators about learning the business. And by taking her subject to Cambodia and to the three-story McMansion that the Ngoy family lived in before losing a fortune in the tens of millions, Gu, an experienced cinematographer, visually suggests a biography layered with trauma and several lifetimes' worth of experience where the talking-head interviews occasionally falter. Showtimes: Get Tickets. One night, Ngoy devised a plan to sneak into the heavily guarded mansion that housed Suganthini, allowing the couple to meet for the first time. “isn’t all sweet but it is a treat.” Thursday, November 19th, 2020. The spry, charming Ngoy makes for a surprisingly guileless presence despite his obvious wish to burnish his legacy. As soon as I finished the film, I wanted a dozen documentaries about inspirational but profoundly flawed immigrant leaders just like it. "[1] In 1977, the Ngoys took a trip to Las Vegas where Ted saw Elvis Presley. This caused tension in the Ngoy household, being the center of many arguments between Ngoy and his wife. Outside, he introduces me to his new girlfriend, Sreypov, a beautiful 19-year-old woman with voluminous dark hair. Posts Tagged ‘Ted Ngoy’ THE DONUT KING: 3 ½ STARS. [1], In 2013, he was living in Phnom Penh working in the real estate business. Mayly Tao, Owner of DK's Donuts & Bakery + Donut Princess LA, joins Jerry to chat about her childhood growing up the daughter of Cambodian immigrants in … 3:46 PM PDT 3/30/2020 Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. Ted Ngoy, Self: The Donut King. In spite of the eye-popping age difference, they both say they’re deeply in love. When he was unable to pay back his debt, he would sign over his store to them. The Donut King (DVD) : The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on Ted Ngoy's story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. Ngoy's gambling had progressed from the card tables to placing bets on sports games with Cambodian bookies. Distraught at the turn of events, Suganthini overdosed on sleeping pills and fell into a coma, causing her parents to relent to the union shortly after the couple recovered. "The Donut King" (2020 release; 90 min.) You get the sense that a man with Ngoy's restless enterprise and financial savvy would have been a runaway success at any place and time. Director: Alice Gu It was here that Ngoy had his first taste of gambling while placing bets at the Blackjack tables. Hastily settled with his family at a military base in Southern California that functioned as a refugee camp, Ngoy was hit with a burst of inspiration after trying his first donut. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. | EU Privacy Preferences, One of the timeliest stories of 2020, it turns out, is how the Cambodian refugee community took over the Southern California donut industry from the 1980s on. Ted Ngoy (born Bun Tek Ngoy; 1942) is a Cambodian American entrepreneur and former owner of a chain of doughnut shops in California. The Donut King (DVD) : The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. Venue: SXSW Film Festival (Documentary Feature Competition). Though seldom traditionally gorgeous, The Donut King is strikingly inventive and image-centric, with animated sequences in place of (most) recreations and an unofficial tour of Southern California's many immigrant-owned donut shops via skateboard. [8], Military Career and Immigration to the United States, "Rise and fall of Cambodian refugee 'Donut King' charted in award-winning film", http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jan/19/local/me-donutking19, "The story of the man they called the doughnut king", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ted_Ngoy&oldid=991486239, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 09:04. [4], Ngoy secured work as a janitor with Peace Lutheran Church in Tustin, California. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. The Donut King (DVD) : The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. Through the maneuvering of his brother-in-law, chief of police and briefly future president of Cambodia, Sak Sutsakhan, Ngoy was promoted to the rank of major and appointed military attache at Cambodia's embassy in Thailand. All rights reserved. At a time when the plights of refugees and immigrants have been necessarily shunted from the front page by the coronavirus (despite the greater vulnerability of these populations to contagion), Gu celebrates their potential and their perseverance, while never losing sight of their complicated humanity. The least the rest of us can do is make America welcoming again. COVID-19 has forced film distributors to get creative. (Every country has its donut.) His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. Suganthini's parents and cousins hid behind curtains in the home to ensure Ngoy would break off the relationship. This documentary tells Ted Ngoy's story that is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. The titular donut king is 77-year-old Ted Ngoy, who has attained mythic status among many Cambodian Americans in Los Angeles and Orange County since his arrival in … Ngoy would often visit Las Vegas for a period of a week, unbeknownst to his wife. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. Pertinent statistics are drowned out by an electronica score and the rattling of skateboard wheels in an early montage, and the film's summary of the history of Cambodia as a battleground in the Vietnam War and the takeover of the Khmer Rouge thereafter might only make sense to those who come to the doc already knowledgeable about that period. It's an improbable achievement, and each biographical detail that we get from Gu's film underscores just how unlikely Ngoy's entire life has been, from his innovation of carnation pink as the donut-box color to his marriage to the daughter of a wealthy and influential family as the son of an impoverished single mother (herself a Chinese migrant to Cambodia). He was raised by his mother, who was from Shantou, Guangdong, and who only spoke Chinese. | Do Not Sell My Personal Information In a final segment, Gu chronicles how the American-raised children are updating their parents' donut shops for the social-media age and reutilizing them to anchor neighborhoods. As the movie opens, we are in today's southern California, as we are intro to various donut shops and its owners, talking about (in)famous Uncle Ted, who started it all back in the 1970s. Ngoy had become an example to other Cambodian immigrants, who began to follow his business model for their own entrepreneurial endeavors. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. He is nicknamed the "Donut King." Ted Ngoy came to America in 1975 after fleeing the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. [2], In 1967, Ngoy was sent by his mother to study in the capital, Phnom Penh, where he fell in love with Suganthini Khoeun, the daughter of a high-ranking government official. Gu’s portrait of Ngoy shifts to favour the greater empire Ted built: one of a rich Cambodian-American community that thrived through the donut king’s pay-it-forward ethic. The two eventually began a secret correspondence via letters delivered by the Khoeun family maid. Ngoy's political career ended in 2002 after breaking with two powerful allies, the commerce minister and the head of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce. Inkoo Kang Producers: Jose Nunez, Alice Gu, Farhad Amid, Tom Moran The Donut King (DVD) : The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. The nonfiction jury at this year's (canceled) SXSW Film Festival must have felt the same, as it gave first-time director Alice Gu's. The Donut King (DVD) : The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. We've curated a list of lesser-known films to help you explore the space-time continuum from the comfort of your couch. Ngoy attempted Gambler's Anonymous, but denies its help with his situation stating that when he went to meetings "I cry, everybody cry. The life story of Ted Ngoy makes for a perfect Bollywood/Hollywood flick. Khoeun's parents denied Ngoy's suitability as a mate for their daughter due to his lower social class, and instructed Ngoy to break off the relationship with Suganthini at a relative's home. Ted and the other interviewees explain how the donut king expanded his empire by providing opportunities to fellow Cambodian families as they established new lives in America. TWITTER At the heart of the story is Ted Ngoy, born Bun Tek Ngoy in 1941 Cambodia. The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. Age Restrictions: None. In four years, Ted built a multi-million-dollar business baking donuts and helped bring hundreds of other refugees seeking safety to America. Genre: Documentary ... A wonderful dark tale of coming of age in a country in transformation - then Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) in 1990s. He became tired running doughnut shops on his own and decided to train and lease shops to his relatives and employ Cambodian refugees. He formed the Free Development Republican Party ahead of the country’s UN-backed elections believing that he could show others the path to wealth and hoping that in being a politician his gambling addiction would be stymied. But that would be taking for granted the extraordinariness of Ngoy's life story, as well as the thoughtfulness with which Gu crafts this accessible yet honest overview. The Donut King (DVD) : The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. At the airport, Ted Ngoy slaps my shoulder and pumps my hand vigorously. He did not fare well in either the 1993 or 1998 parliamentary elections, but his friend, Prime Minister Hun Sen, made him an advisor on commerce and agriculture. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is a registered trademark of The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. special jury recognition for achievement in documentary storytelling. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. The Khoeuns immediately sent for an ambulance for Ngoy and had Suganthini locked in her room for days following the event. He saw an opportunity to expand his business and help the large number of poor, unassimilated Cambodians who had fled the Khmer Rouge to the United States. The nonfiction jury at this year's (canceled) SXSW Film Festival must have felt the same, as it gave first-time director Alice Gu's The Donut King special jury recognition for achievement in documentary storytelling. Ngoy lived in a small attic apartment a couple blocks away from the Khoeun mansion and would play flute music at night to woo Suganthini. But it was late 20th-century America that placed him in a unique position to help so many people — and then to ruin himself in spectacular fashion. by is a documentary about the life and times of Ted Ngoy. He is nicknamed the "Donut King." Some are side-stepping traditional theatres completely in favor of drive-ins or streaming services. Combined with the archival footage of Democratic and Republican presidents alike embracing immigrants and refugees, The Donut King is an undeniably moving portrayal of how America, in providing a home to desperate exiles, has been in turn rewarded for its generosity of spirit. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. Shortly after reiterating what he was forced to say, he admitted that what was said was a lie and stabbed himself in the stomach. [1], Ted Ngoy was born in the Cambodian village of Sisophon near the country's border with Thailand. [3], Ngoy worked at various jobs, including as a travel agent and tour guide, before joining the military in 1970. © 2021 The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. Leaders and visionaries like Ted Ngoy benefit the lives of more people than they can even imagine. Sitemap | In 1975, Ted Ngoy fled the war in Cambodia with his wife and three kids and arrived in America as a penniless refugee. The couple were wed shortly after and had three children. | California Privacy Rights Synopsis: The story of Ted Ngoy, also known fondly as “The Donut King”, is one of fairy tales- … In 1985, Ngoy and his wife became American citizens assuming the American names of Ted and Christy, respectively, and were enjoying a lavish lifestyle including a million dollar home at Lake Mission Viejo, a vacation home in Big Bear, expensive cars, and vacations to Europe. The Donut King (DVD) : The rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian refugee arriving in America in 1975 and building a multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. But it would also have been helpful to get more insight into how the first- and second-generation immigrants interviewed feel about the nutritionally empty food beyond its roles as a nostalgic treat and a vehicle for economic prosperity. Editor: Carol Martori At a time when the plights of refugees and immigrants have been necessarily shunted from the front page by the coronavirus (despite the greater vulnerability of these populations to contagion), Gu celebrates their potential and their perseverance, while never losing sight of their complicated humanity. Ngoy declares that his relationship with donuts was love at first sight because they reminded him of nom kong, a Cambodian dessert. The sponsor of more than 100 refugee families, Ngoy is almost single-handedly responsible for his compatriots' domination of the mom-and-pop donut shops in Southern California, of which 80 percent were owned by Cambodians by the mid-1990s. AdChoices Ted Ngoy (born Bun Tek Ngoy; 1942) is a Cambodian American entrepreneur and former owner of a chain of doughnut shops in California. At the heart of the story is Ted Ngoy, born Bun Tek Ngoy in 1941 Cambodia. EMAIL ME, [Note: In the wake of SXSW's cancellation this year, The Hollywood Reporter is reviewing select fest entries that elected to premiere digitally.]. Ted Ngoy is not a name you will recognize, but his influence in California is immeasurable. There he discovered a delicious food that reminded him of Cambodian Nom Kong. In 1975, Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy (a former high ranking member of the military) fled his homeland and the violent genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge. Ngoy spent a total of 45 days in the mansion before being discovered by Suganthini's parents and subsequently kicked out. Once a paragon in the community, refugees now avoided him for fear of being asked for a loan. The next day, he flew back to Los Angeles leaving behind his new wife and their two children. The Ngoys decided to keep uniformity amongst their shops, naming subsequent acquisitions Christy's. FACEBOOK Now, filmmaker Alice Gu, shares his story and why it matters today. The totally surprising and extraordinary roller coast life of Ted Ngoy is the stuff of a good movie drama ….. except that this is a documentary of his almost unbelievable real life.. A word of warning here, before you start to stream Alice Gu‘s wee film, go grab yourself a box of donuts, as her film has you gasping to eat more than a few.. One of the timeliest stories of 2020, it turns out, is how the Cambodian refugee community took over the Southern California donut industry from the 1980s on. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. Ngoy also involved himself in American politics, joining the Republican Party and hosting fundraisers for George H.W. He subsequently received training through an affirmative action program to increase minority hiring within the Winchell's chain of doughnut shops, and managed a store in Newport Beach where he employed his wife and nephew. The least the rest of us can do is make America welcoming again. She divorced him soon after and has not since returned to Cambodia. [6][3], Ngoy bought additional doughnut shops in Orange County. He would forge her signature on checks and even borrow money from relatives who leased stores from him. [5] Despite her sheltered life and being forbidden from having friends or leaving the house other than for school, Suganthini fell in love. In a final segment, Gu chronicles how the American-raised children are updating their parents' donut shops for the social-media age and reutilizing them to anchor neighborhoods. Gu's efforts to deliver a peppy, music-driven documentary does make it occasionally difficult to understand Ngoy's story within a larger context. He and his family fled the fighting in that country in 1975 and ended up in Tustin, Calif., an hour’s drive south of Los Angeles. Amongst their shops, naming subsequent acquisitions Christy 's became popular under the ownership of donut! Side-Stepping traditional theatres completely in favor of drive-ins or streaming services from ted ngoy age, Guangdong, redemption..., Christy 's previous owners, Christy 's became popular under the previous owners Christy... Kicked out REPORTER, LLC an ambulance for Ngoy and had three children had his taste. Of corruption ] by 1977 he was able to purchase his first shop... 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