These are short documentary pieces on newsy or under-covered issues.
The Three Kings of Bangkok
Thailand’s three most devoted Elvis impersonators prepare for the what could be the greatest event of their lives: rubber-legging together for the first time, to commemorate the 39th anniversary of Presley’s death on August 16.
* I film several parts of this documentary but was not the main producer behind it.
Kind or Cruel | Animal Combat in Thailand | Cockfighting
In this mini series, Coconuts TV dives into the fascinating world of animal combat sports in Thailand. Weird, wonderful and real stories from Asia, subscribe to Coconuts TV now: https://bit.ly/CoconutsTV
Bangkok's "Mexican" Gangsters: Hangin' with the Far East Eses
A curious new trend has emerged in Bangkok, where young Thai men are dressing up as Latino gangsters. Most of these men say they are motivated by their passion for the "gangster" lifestyle and clothes. I met up with three "gangs" - Balcony Pain, Fratez and D Sixty - for a photoshoot and to learn more about the phenomenon. Shortly after publishing, this video went viral ending up on Reddit's front page twice. It was also covered by multiple larger media outlets around the world. I was interviewed by several publishers about the story including NPR.
Borneo firefighters risk their lives battling a never-ending inferno
Every day, the brave men of the Bukit Tunggal District Fire Assault Squad risk their lives to put out some of the largest and most toxic fires on the planet. In 2015, the annual haze fires were worse than even and much of Borneo was choked in a thick blanket of smog. In this video I followed one firefighter - Yanto - on an average day of firefighting.
Guardians of the Pangolin
Rhino and elephants tend to steal the spotlight when it comes to the issue of illegal wildlife trafficking. But the plight of the pangolin is far more dire. Over a million pangolins have been trafficked in the past decade, with a single pangolin costing as much as USD1,000 on the Asian black market. I had the unique opportunity to join Save Vietnam’s Wildlife team as they released thirty five endangered pangolins into the wild.
The 7 Dangerous Days
Every year about 26,000 people perish on Thai roads, a number that puts the country’s road fatalities on par with a moderate-scale war. But this carnage is at its worst during one brutal week in April when accidents, injuries and deaths skyrocket. During these seven days (the first of the Thai New Year or Songkran), Thailand, an already precarious place to drive, becomes arguably the most dangerous place on Earth to be on the road. I wanted to see what it’s like to be on the front lines of this annual crisis so in April 2015 I followed a local rescue crew for five of the Seven Dangerous Days.
Southeast Asia's Diehard Elvis Impersonators
In August 2015 the best Elvis impersonators in Southeast Asia gathered in Phuket, Thailand. I spent a day with them to produce this short piece on the event and their subculture.
Getting a Mystical Tattoo at Wat Bang Phra Temple
Every March, devotees descend upon Wat Bang Phra temple outside Bangkok to partake in the Wai Khru Festival, the highlight of which is the mystical 'sak yank' tattoo. In Thailand, many believe that sak yank tattoos bestow magical powers upon their wearers. I attended the annual pilgrimage with one of Coconuts TV's correspondents to film the process.
Prison Fight: Thai Inmates vs. Foreign Fighters
"Prison Fight" is arguably the most bizarre combat event in Asia. In a nutshell, it's a series of bouts between Thai inmates and foreigners. For the prisoners, there's a lot at stake. This is literally a fight for their freedom. If they win a Prison Fight, their sentences can be reduced. For the foreigners, the reward is simply bragging rights - how many people can say they've fought in a Thai prison and lived to tell about it? This video broke the news about Prison Fight. After publication, the story went viral and it was subsequently covered by outlets across the globe.
The Last Jews of Myanmar
Myanmar is well-known for its religious diversity and perhaps the best place to see this is Yangon, the country's largest city. For centuries Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists have all called Yangon home. But what's less well-known is the city's Jewish community. Situated in the Muslim section of town is the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue, the last remaining Jewish house of worship in Myanmar. I visited the temple to meet Sammy Samuels, the temple's caretaker.
Toms: The Complex World of Female Love in Thailand
Thailand's 'toms' (as in tomboys) inhabit a unique place on the gender spectrum. These are girls who dress and act in a masculine way, typically sporting a uniform look of short hair, t-shirts and jeans. But toms don't consider themselves trans or even lesbians, despite the fact that they date women. In this short documentary, I explored the complex world of tom culture, which was picked up by publications like Buzzfeed and shared widely on social media.
Hong Kong's Hidden Shame: Why is foreign domestic worker abuse so rampant?
In early 2015, news broke that a young maid in Hong Kong had been brutally tortured by her employer. What was perhaps even more shocking was that, while the case was extreme, it was by no means unique. Many of Hong Kong's over 300,000 foreign domestic workers are underpaid and suffer slave-like treatment at the hands of their employers. But why is this happening in a wealthy, cosmopolitan city with a reputation for respecting human rights? I went to Hong Kong to find out.
Thailand's Craft Beer Outlaws
The global craft beer boom started in America, where it’s now a 14 billion dollar industry. In Thailand however, home brewing is illegal, it can even land you in jail. Yet despite these legal obstacles, the kingdom is on the verge of a craft beer revolution. Coconuts TV set out to meet the home brewers that are defying Thailand’s draconian alcohol laws.
After the storm: Tacloban's housing crisis
Almost a year after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Filipino port city of Tacloban, thousands of survivors are still living in tents and shacks along the coastal danger zone. This is despite millions of dollars in relief donations being sent from around the world. I traveled to Tacloban to investigate what the future holds for these survivors.
A tour through Manila's infamous Smokey Mountain slum
Poverty tourism is a small but growing sector of the the travel industry wherein primarily wealthy western tourists visit the poorest places on earth. Recently, Smokey Mountain, a Filipino community in Manila literally situated on a garbage dump, has become a popular attraction for these tours. I took the tour to investigate if it did indeed promote social awareness as its organizers claim.
Goodbye Dolly: The brothels are gone but the sex trade lives on
What happens when a mayor on a moral crusade shuts down Southeast Asia's biggest red-light district? I journeyed into Indonesia's underground sex trade to find out.
Puerto Rico's drug addicts: 'Nobody wants to know them' | Guardian Investigations
Puerto Rico has an HIV/Aids infection rate nearly four times the US national average -- over half caused by injection drug use. I traveled to the island to report on the island's little-known crisis.