WCTE and ‘Indie Lens Pop Up’ present ‘The Donut King’

COOKEVILLE – “Indie Lens Pop-Up,” presented by ITVS, “Independent Lens,” Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), and WCTE – Central TN PBS will present “The Donut King.”  Tune in Tuesday, May 11 at 6 p.m. CST for a free virtual screening as filmmaker Alice Gu explores the rags to riches story of Ted Ngoy and the unlikely multimillion-dollar empire he built from baking one of America’s favorite sugarcoated pastries.

In 1975, Ted Ngoy, “The Donut King,” arrived in the United States, by way of Camp Pendleton, as a refugee escaping the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. At the start of his new American life, Ngoy parlayed opportunity and hard work into the purchase of his first donut shop in Orange County, California. The success of the donut shop allowed for the opening of new locations and the ability to extend a helping hand to fellow Cambodian refugees. Over the next decade, Ngoy sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming Cambodian refugees offering them steady employment in his shops. By 1979, Ngoy was living the American Dream—but a great rise often comes with a great fall, the documentary reversals how Ngoy’s fortunes were lost and that everything he had built was gone.

“Imagine a man with nothing, penniless, coming to the most powerful country in the world and building something from nothing,” said Ted Ngoy, the man dubbed “The Donut King.” “I lost everything. Believe me, everything.”

Tune in to WCTE on May 11at 6 p.m. CST for a free virtual screening of “The Donut King” followed by a discussion panel. Visit wcte.org/indielens to RSVP and join the conversation. 

“The Donut King” premieres Monday, May 24 on WCTE PBS at 10 p.m. CST.  It can also be streamed via wcte.org or the WCTE app.

WCTE has served the Upper Cumberland for more than 40 years as the regions premier storyteller and is the only television station in a 75-mile radius of Cookeville, making it a strategic partner in education, health services, government, arts and music. WCTE is a 501(c) 3 and is owned and operated by the Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council. WCTE is one of only 350 PBS member stations nationwide.

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