Cirque du Cambodia--Social Circus Artists Shine in New Documentary

Circus News

Cirque du Cambodia–Social Circus Artists Shine in New Documentary

Cirque du Cambodia is a documentary film that follows the circus education and emerging careers of two circus artists (Dina Sok and Sopha Nem) from teen years to adulthood, starting with their circus training in a special arts school in Cambodia called Phare Ponleu Selpak. The school (whose name means ‘brightness of the arts.’) began in 1994 as a way to maintain the Cambodian artistic heritage that was nearly destroyed from the genocide led by Pol Pot from 1975-1979. It has since grown into a large school system, providing general and arts education for the region, including their successful Performing Arts School which includes a circus program.
Director Joel Gershon Documentarian and film director Joel Gershon explains how he came to make this huge passion project, which spans 5 plus years of the artist’s lives, following them as they grow into men and become seasoned artists. Gershon, a New Yorker, was working in Bangkok as a journalist and visited Cambodia in 2011. He described his experience at Phare Ponleu Selpak, “I witnessed a circus show performed by local youths – some of whom were orphans, others were recovering drug addicts but all with little hope of a bright future. The palpable joy on the performers’ faces (and the audiences’) gave me goosebumps and I knew right th...
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Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell has written about circus for CircusTalk.News, Spectacle magazine, Circus Now, Circus Promoters and was a resident for Circus Stories, Le Cirque Vu Par with En Piste in 2015 at the Montreal Completement Cirque Festival. They are the former editor of CircusTalk.News, American Circus Educators magazine, as well as a staff writer for the web publication Third Coast Review, where they write about circus, theatre, arts and culture. Kim is a member of the American Theater Critics Association.