S & D at Angkor.jpg
S & D at Angkor Wat.jpg

the Film

Cirque du Cambodia follows two teenagers, Sopha Nem and Dina Sok, over a six-year period on an unlikely journey from the rice fields and dusty roads of rural Cambodia to Montreal, in order to train at the world’s most prestigious circus school. Their ultimate dream is to perform with Cirque du Soleil.

Over the years they train rigorously and overcome great obstacles on their quest while their friends and families back in Cambodia eagerly anticipate whether their old friends can really make it to the big time. 

After many years of filming, the film is set to be completed in 2018. Currently, the film is an independent project, and we are seeking key partners to make this inspirational film shine.


Phnom Penh Post – Circus stars backflip onto the screen 11/8/13

Cambodia Daily – Flying High 5/21/16

Voice of America – From Battambang to Canada: Circus Performers Make It Big 2/4,/17

Khmer Times – Battambang acrobats to feature in film 6/30/17

the Director

Joel Gershon is a journalist, documentary filmmaker and professor in media studies, currently teaching at the School of Communication at American University in Washington D.C.  He recently came back from living abroad in Bangkok for 12 years, where he worked as a TV reporter and producer, writer, and university professor. He stumbled across the magical school Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang, Cambodia in 2011, and from that experience, “Cirque du Cambodia” was born. He surrendered to the flow while chasing this extraordinary story and filming was done in four countries over six years to capture Sopha and Dina's improbable quest to become the first Cambodians to perform with Cirque du Soleil.