Never before in Cambodia has a documentary been made about a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) sports team. The documentary Iron Legs will change that. Filmmaker Vanna Hem is following a football (soccer) team, almost all of them are lesbian girls. He has filmed them during their training and matches and has done one-to-one interviews with a few of the young women about how it is for LGBT people in Cambodia. The documentary will also contain an interview with the coach, a 50-something lesbian woman who survived Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in the ’70s. In the Khmer Rouge ideology there was no place for LGBT people in the perfect agrarian society. Many of them were killed.
Neither storyline has ever been documented before in Cambodia. Two generations come together in this football team. Iron Legs will be a unique document, describing an important part of the Cambodian LGBT cultural heritage. The documentary will make the LGBT community and LGBT sports better known among the general public in Cambodia.
Iron Legs will be shown in art film houses in Cambodia and also be made available online. The girls of the team will start a social media campaign themselves. In cooperation with a local LGBT NGO we will try to broadcast organisations interested as well. The topic of ‘LGBT’ is currently enjoying a bit more public interest with the support of the national government, which means it’s good timing for this documentary. Nevertheless, the film still needs to be finished. Help us do that!
Most of the actual filming was done at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 thanks to sponsoring from Dutch foundations De Trut and PANN and the Dutch tennis association Smashing Pink.
Vanna Hem (Filmmaker) and San Sovan (Coach)
To be able to finish the documentary, we need to secure a ‘post-production’ budget of EUR 5000. This will include the following activities: selecting footage, editing, adding sound, securing rights, creating subtitles, arranging the distribution, doing PR, launching the event in Phnom Penh, etc. As Vanna Hem wants to make a good quality product, he will be working with a number of specialists in this post-production phase. He has already made a trailer using some of the footage he shot.
We will support the team by buying them new sports materials and jerseys. If we raise more then we needed budget, we will use that for organising a public premiere of Iron Legs in Phnom Penh.
Part of the team and Robert Witlox (Producer)