First They Killed My Father: On set with AJP

Co-producer Rithy Panh (left), translator Phichith Rithea and Jolie Pitt. Pax Jolie Pitt
Co-producer Rithy Panh (left), translator Phichith Rithea and Jolie Pitt. Pax Jolie Pitt

First They Killed My Father: On set with AJP

First details of the all-Cambodian cast of Angelina Jolie Pitt’s adaptation of Ung Loung’s Khmer Rouge memoir First They Killed My Father have been revealed along with behind the scenes photos taken by Jolie Pitt’s son Pax.

A statement from the production company provided exclusively to Post Weekend said the central character of the film is being played by first-time actor Sareum Srey Moch, who was discovered in an EYC (Empowering Youth in Cambodia) charity school.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The family. Left to right back row: Sarun Nika (Geak), Sveng Socheata (Ma), Khoun Sothea (Khouy), Heng Dara (Meng), Phoeung Kompheak (Pa); front row: Sareum Srey Moch (Loung), Mun Kimhak (Kim), Oun Srey Neang (Keav), Run Malyna (Chaou). Pax Jolie Pitt

“Described as a young girl with a rich and vivid imagination, Jolie Pitt understood after a rigorous audition process that she had found her young lead. Srey,” the statement said.

Loung’s parents, Pa and Ma, are being played by Phoeung Kompheak and Sveng Socheata.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sareum Srey Moch. Pax Jolie Pitt

Kompheak – an interpreter for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and multi-talented writer and artist – made his movie acting debut in last year’s French adaptation of The Gate, while Socheata has appeared in a number of Cambodian films.

Other notable Cambodian actors also featured in the film are Horm Chhora, Ros Mony and Nuth Sophal.

“These actors have successfully completed over a full week of filming dramatic scenes of the family being relocated from their former home in Phnom Penh to the work village Ro Leap where they struggle to stay together,” said the statement.

Bophana Productions is employing more than 500 Cambodians to make the film.

“They comprise the largest portion of the crew and play an indispensible role in the making of the film.”

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A candid shot of actors Heng Dara and Mun Kimhak. Pax Jolie Pitt

First They Killed My Father is being produced for US internet media provider Netflix.

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