A.K.A. Don Bonus

USA199565 minEnglishArchive PresentationDocumentary

Cambodian-born Sokly “Don Bonus” Ny takes a Hi8 camcorder into his final year of high school in the San Francisco Bay Area, documenting intersecting events happening at school, at home, and amongst friends and family. Filmed and released in 1995, the film can be seen as a forerunner of the now-popular diary or vlog documentary format, featuring raw footage and voiceover from Don Bonus.

Although made in the 1990s, the beats of the film are familiar and still relevant, moving through issues of low-income housing, gang violence, academic struggle, and family fractures, while also featuring communal celebration, youthful camaraderie and intimate family life. These scenes are simultaneously casual and intentional, recontextualized and given resonance through Don Bonus’ frank, teenage monologic reflections.

A.K.A Don Bonus highlights how the stories that came before us, although constructed from their time and space, can continue to speak powerfully into our present.

– Jasmine Gui


Sokly Ny


Berlin International Film Festival, 1996
San Francisco Film Festival, 1995
National Emmy Award, 1996
Golden Gate Award, San Francisco Film Festival, 1995

Director Bio

Spencer Nakasako

Spencer Nakasako has over three decades of experience as an independent filmmaker and is the founder of the groundbreaking Media Lab at the Vietnamese Youth Development Center in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Nakasako is a member of the Writers Guild of America, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

12 Nov, 2020 10:00 am

to 19 Nov, 2020 11:59 pm



Live online Masterclass with director Spencer Nakasako

Deep dive into narrative construction with director Spencer Nakasako & filmmaker Miko Revereza! ASL interpretation will be made available thanks to Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Services.

November 17, 2020 at 6:30PM

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