What is it like to live below the poverty line in your community?

Our collaborative multimedia project connects emerging filmmakers around the world under a common goal to share unique accounts of individuals living with limited resources.

We will collect these short, five to seven minute videos—produced on a local, grassroots level—and publish them here, for the world to see. The mosaic of portraits will help us learn about transversal issues that affect poor communities as we begin an online dialogue where we can define areas of need and be inspired to action.

We are invite you to join the conversation and participate in our webdocumentary!

Watch Our 2-minutes Introduction To One Dollar

Episode 16: The Destiny

By Leakhena Roeun
Sokhom, a 55-year-old woman, lives in the White Building. She has been a fortuneteller for 30 years since she moved from Site 2 Refugee Camp, but her living situation isn’t getting any better. Sokhom earns barely enough a day to support her grandsons and daughter. She needs to do laundry to supplement her income and pay back her debts. As a fortuneteller she foresees other people’s life stories, but cannot predict her own future. A Chinese medium had predicted a long time ago that she would become a fortuneteller but would not be rich. She did not want to believe it at first but now, to her, being a fortuneteller is set to be her destiny.
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Episode 15: Home Cemetery

By Phally Ngoeum
Sarann, a 54-year-old mother, lives in a cemetery with her son and her cousin, since they had been forced to leave their land and house without compensation along with 59 other families. After the expulsion, her husband had fallen into depression, then become ill, and finally died leaving her and their sick son alone. Collecting and selling garbage for 50 cents or less per day, she can barely earn enough to survive. In order to buy medicine for her son, she also cleans the tombs of other families and washes the dishes at the pagoda from which she can bring some food for her son. She says: “There is no way out.”
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Episode 14: Choices in Life

By Phally Ngoeum

Yem Thol, a 56-year-old woman, lives in the White Building in Phnom Penh after surviving the Khmer Rouge regime. She makes a living by embroidering Khmer traditional costumes with her daughter, Chandin, earning meager money.

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Episode 13: Sweet Cake

By You Y Ly

Phal Srey is living with her children in a temple in Phnom Penh. Her husband, who is working in the province, hardly sends her money. Since she could not study when she was young, her commitment is to send her children to school every day. In order to make it possible, she has been selling cakes on the street for 20 years. She works all day long and earns barely enough to buy some food and pay the water and electricity bills. When she cannot sell out all her cakes, she gives them to the neighbors for free.

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Episode 12: The Grass Cutter

By Phanith Chhum

Sho, a 45-year-old father originally from Prey Veng province, lives today with one of his sons alongside the old railway in Phnom Penh. They make a living cutting grass. Selling 10 to 20 bundles per day, they earn hardly 2 to 4 dollars. Sho, who has left his wife and another son in Prey Veng, cannot afford to send his children to school. He observes: “We are living eating things that rich people would throw away”.

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Episode 11: Shoes

By Doeurn Chev

Sophea, a 13-year-old-boy, lives with his family in the White Building in Phnom Penh. His father repairs shoes and his sister sells eggs, both on the street, to make a living. With the couple of dollars that his family earns daily, the father cannot even afford breakfast – let alone his son's education. Without money, Sophea cannot go to school, although he wears his school uniform every day. In order to get the money, Sophea plays the “shoes game” with the neighbors' children.

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Episode 10: 3 Days More

By Chanrado Sok

Yey Lon, a 58-year-old widow, lives in a tiny mezzanine room with her son in Phnom Penh. As her son does not work, she struggles to make a living for the two of them. She spends her days doing the laundry and “coining” in different parts of the city but despite her hard work, she earns less than two dollars per day on average. As the price of the rent is increasing, she is threatened with eviction by the landlord. She also has to buy expensive medicine for her son. She is getting older, her strength is failing and she is afraid of being unable to pay the rent and the other daily expenses anymore.

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Episode 9: Woman and Red Ants

By Doeurn Chev

Souem Mao, a 57-year-old mother, now lives alone at Krung Tnorng, in Takeo province. She has been working there for more than 28 years, but as price of life has risen, she has to work harder and harder to survive. She spends her days collecting red ants in the trees to sell them to the villagers or to exchange them for rice. Earning less than one dollar per day, she also washes dish and plants rice in order to cover her daily expenses. She wishes she had enough money to join her children in Thailand. Despite harshness of life, she keeps hope thanks to pictures of her family and the presence of her neighbours.

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Episode 8: No Frogs No Rice

By Socheat Cheng

Touch Sokea, a 34-year-old divorced mother of two children, is from Kompong Speu province. Without any financial support from her ex-husband who was violent, left her and remarried, Sokea catches frogs and crabs in the rice field for a living. By exchanging frog meat for rice from villagers or selling them cheap, she can barely feed her children. Sokea works hard and spends the little money she earns very carefully, because she has a dream: to give her 13 year-old daughter a higher education.

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Episode 7: Fighting for Life

By Chanrado Sok

Da, a 25 year-old man, left his home village in Svay Rieng and moved to Phnom Penh when he was 16. His passion is boxing. He started to learn this art of fighting in a club located in the Old Stadium. One year later, he fought his first match but without fear. After numerous fights on the ring, he finally became a professional boxer, but his salary is too meagre to feed his aunt in his hometown. He needs to sell sugercane juice on the street for a living.

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Episode 6: Day by Day

By Leakhena Roeun

Vichet, 38 year-old father of four children, has been struggling to make a living since he was very young: born in Kompong Cham, He moved to Pailin 10 years ago to find a better life and a job, but life is not easy though. Seeking everyday a temporary job on cassava farms, he can hardly feed his family and send his children to school. No matter how hard he works, it is impossible for him to own either land or house. With hope in his children, he toils day by day…

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Episode 5: Guide Boy

By Phally Ngoeum

Chre, 12 year-old boy, is a tour guide. Living on a small mountain known of its fairy tale and Khmer Rouge history, he guides local tourists and earns little money to live. After his mother’s death when he was 2 years old and his sister’s migration to Thailand, he is the sole person to take care of his sick father. Without formal education, Chre knows that his capacity as tour guide is limited. Despite all difficulties, he never gives up dreaming to go to school like other kids, and to become more professional tour guide with better knowledge.

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Episode 4: The Hunter

By Socheata Van

In a small village of Battambang province. Savath, 33, married and father of three children, leaves his house at 3 am every day to hunt rats. We are witness to his daily life, his challenges and his dream…

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Episode 3: Lady Stone

At the feet of giant mountains in Southern Cambodia, in the white dust and under a leaden sky, Nuon does her best to reduce rocks into pebbles and sell them for thirthy-five cents a sack. She used to own land but malaria carried everything away: her money, her rice field and her husband. She plans to seek employment in the capital, Phnom Penh, either working in construction or washing dishes. She would do anything to regain hope.

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Episode 2: Bamboo Cutter

Thai and his wife Ny are bamboo cutters in the northwest of Cambodia near the Thai border. Every day, they risk their lives by cutting and selling bamboo gathered from the worst land-mine zones in the country. With limited options and pressing needs to feed their family, they continue to work, knowing that death perhaps awaits them with their next step.

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Episode 1: Minister of Papaya

Mao Bora lives and works in Phnom Penh, where he sells papaya. With his sense of humor and brightly colored motorbike, Minister of Papaya brings energy to his everyday life, showing us that even the simplest actions can inspire hope.

See more including Mao Bora's interview

Why Should You Participate?

Connect With Filmmakers
This project presents an opportunity for you to connect with other filmmakers and multimedia journalists locally and internationally.

Create For A Good Cause
Bring your creativity to the One Dollar Project and increase awarness about poverty in your own community.

Join the Conversation
Discuss and share ideas brought up through these portraits to help broaden our understanding of global poverty.


Are You Ready To Get Involved?

Film students, production groups, documentary filmmakers and media journalists are encouraged to participate. More importantly, if you are passionate about the project, we want to hear about your idea.

You have five to seven minutes to show us how one working individual in your community copes with poverty. Read More.


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