Lotus Sports Club


International Forum

COUNTRIES: Netherlands, Cambodia YEAR: 2022 RUNTIME: 72 min

DIRECTED BY: Tommaso Colognese, Vanna Hem


SUBTITLES: German, English

SCRIPT: Tommaso Colognese, Vanna Hem, Martina Serafin

PRODUCED BY: Robert Witlox, Vanna Hem, Tommaso Colognese


EDITED BY: Robin Whalley, Ona Bartrolí Portell

SCORE: Joeri Pronk



Filmed in Cambodia over the course of 5 years, Lotus Sports Club, is an inspiring coming-of-age story that centres around Leak, a teenage trans man who plays football in the under-21s women’s team of Kampong Chhnang, and Pa Vann, the coach and father-figure to Leak and other LGBTQ+ players on the team.

61-year-old Pa Vann established the football team in 2009 to encourage solidarity among straight, lesbian and gender-diverse players. He also opened his home to the more vulnerable often homeless teenagers, including Leak, thus providing these LGBTQ+ players a safe place to be themselves. After living with Pa Vann for many years, Leak, driven by the pressure to make more money for his family and forced off the football team because of his age, takes the heart-breaking decision to move to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, leaving behind the one person he loves the most.

presented by:


Tommaso Colognese

Born in 1974 in Italy, Tommaso Colognese is an independent filmmaker and producer based in London. Graduated at UCLA Extension in the early 2000s, Colognese has been living and working between Italy, England and the USA. Lotus Sports Club is his feature film directorial debut.

Lotus Sports Club (2022)

Vanna Hem

Born in 1984, Cambodian filmmaker Vanna Hem has established himself as one of the leading voices in Cambodia in the arena of social and LGBTQIA* films. His credits include various short-form documentaries and social videos for International NGOs. LOTUS SPORTS CLUB is his first feature length documentary.

Karma (2013)

Lives Under the Red Light (2014)

Where Do I Belong? (2016)

Lotus Sports Club (2022)

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Document Our History Now! (info@documentourhistorynow.org)

WORLD SALES: Document Our History Now! (info@documentourhistorynow.org)