Chapeau Studios helps bring SXSW winner to life

Chapeau Studios is proud to have contributed design and post to the feature documentary The Donut King, selected for world premiere in competition at SXSW 2020 and awarded Special Jury Recognition for Achievement in Documentary Storytelling and Special Jury Recognition Poster Design (illustrated by Andrew Hem with design by Charlie Le).

Written & directed by Alice GuThe Donut King’s story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. It’s the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut. 

In speaking about the honors, the festival explains, “The many stories about Cambodian refugees arriving in America in the ‘70s are often overlooked. With The Donut King, first-time director Alice Gu puts a spotlight on entrepreneur Ted Ngoy and delivers a finely-crafted and timely immigrant narrative that is a story about the American dream as much as it is a story of redemption and overcoming adversity to leave a lasting legacy.” 

Producer José Nuñez, a longtime collaborator with director Gu, is the connector and through-line between the film and Chapeau Studios where he leads film/video production. Uniting these worlds was a natural fit; solidified by a love of film and sweet fried dough. “Trust and our shared experience made it possible to dream big and quickly build consensus on everything from bombastic design to invisible visual effects,” relays Nunez. 

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Chapeau Studios designed the film’s main titles – an ode to California’s skate and gaming culture and, of course, donuts – and crafted in-film motion graphics, end credits, and provided visual effects and final finish. Watch the opening titles below:

Director Alice Gu began her career as a Director of Photography, working with renowned directors Werner Herzog, Stacy Peralta, and Rory Kennedy and working as a still photographer before becoming a director. The Donut King, her feature debut, is the epic story of Ted Ngoy who realized the American dream and, in turn, sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet in the US, teaching them the ways of the donut business.

But, in life, great rise can come with great falls. The film is executive produced by Ridley Scott and Frieda Lee Mock. 


  • Executive Producer: José Nuñez
  • Executive Producer – Post Production: Karuna Venter
  • Executive Creative Director – Post Production: Ben Looram
  • Creative Director: Lauren Mayer-Beug
  • Senior Producer: Josef LeBeau
  • Lead Designer/Animator: Sarahjane Pattwell
  • Title Sequence Design/Animation: Sun Ah Kim
  • Designer/Animator: Nathan Boldman
  • Designer/Animator: Dathan Dedman
  • VFX Compositor: Ted Stanley

SOURCE: Chapeau Studios