News & events > Bophana Centre welcomes international star researching new film production
04 Sep 2015

Bophana Centre welcomes international star researching new film production


Angelina Jolie-Pitt has been in Phnom Penh to begin work on a Khmer-language film based on Luong Ung's Khmer Rouge survival memoir "First They Killed My Father," which will be co-produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Rithy Panh. Jolie-Pitt co-wrote the script with the book's author, and will direct the movie for online streaming company Netflix.

Speaking after visiting the Bophana Centre of Memory, Jolie-Pitt said: "I am humbled and honored by the responsibility of bringing 'First They Killed My Father' to the screen. "The film is based on the emotional memory of Loung Ung from 5-8 years old. The film will be shot from the child's perspective – a child's point-of-view and understanding of war. Because Loung was so young during this time, Jolie-Pitt will work with the Bophana Centre, historians, and many other people who went through the war to make sure the events in the film are depicted correctly. Therefore, Jolie-Pitt will spend the next few months not only scouting for locations and casting, but also researching the relevant events to assure that the final product will pay respect to Loung Ung and her family, as well as every single individual who suffered under the Khmer Rouge.


Jolie-Pitt remarked: "The book is a guide to one young girl's story, and we will complete the story drawing on the experiences of others and adding them to the film. Through her story we will be telling many stories, so that the film is not just based on the memory of one child, but on the collective memory of the people of Cambodia. The intent of this project is not to revisit the horrors of the war, but to bring the characters that people around the world will identify with and empathize with and help to teach people about this country that I love and respect, and the Cambodian culture and family life I so admire."

The shooting will take place from November to the end of January – in Cambodia with the Cambodian cast and crew – in the Cambodian language. Jolie-Pitt added: "I wish for the world to be able to see what the Bophana Centre have built up and what they do. Their detailed work to restore the archives of the past and work with young people and volunteers to look forward to the future based on a shared purpose is inspiring, and I am honored to work with Rithy Panh from whom I have so much to learn. I am also grateful for the support of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the Cambodia Film Commission."

Read the Press Release from Bophana Centre