Socheata Poeuv
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Socheata Poeuv

Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle, Washington, United States
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Socheata Poeuv
Speaker, Filmmaker and Activist

Socheata Poeuv is the founder of Khmer Legacies, which has the goal of recording 10,000 testimonies of survivors of the Cambodian genocide by encouraging children to interview their parents.

Relatively little documentation of the Khmer American experience exists. Parents and older generations are hesitant to remember and openly share their experiences because of the trauma of war, violence and genocide. Khmer Legacies aims to preserve and deepen understanding about the history of the Khmer Rouge from the perspective of survivors, bridge the generational divide between Cambodian parents and their children, and transform the culture of denial and avoidance in Cambodian communities. In 2007 Socheata received the competitive Echoing Green Fellowship, an organization that provides seed funding to start-up non-profit organizations. She is a Visiting Fellow at the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University.

Socheata was born on the Cambodian New Year in a Thai refugee camp. Her family immigrated to the US and she grew up in Dallas, Texas. Her parents refused to discuss the war or their lives under the Khmer Rouge until Socheata was an adult; one day they called a family meeting and revealed that Socheata's older brother was actually her half-brother; her mother's first husband and daughter had died during the genocide. Her two older sisters were actually her cousins, the children of her mother's sister, orphaned during the war.

Her parents' revelation raised more questions than it answered. Socheata decided to return to Cambodia with her parents and older brother. NEW YEAR BABY documents their story of survival and healing.

NEW YEAR BABY has received rave reviews at film festivals around the country, and has received the Movies That Matter Award, sponsored by Amnesty International at IDFA, Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, Best Documentary at the AFI Dallas International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the VC Film Festival, the Audience Award and the Special Jury Prize at Asian American International Film Festival, and the Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival. It aired on the show Independent Lens on PBS on May 27, 2008.