Angelina Jolie makes a surprise stop at Long Beach’s Cambodia Town Film Festival

Angelina Jolie made a surprise visit to the Cambodia Town Film Festival Saturday to help promote the event, which organizers have spent years pushing for better exposure for Cambodian and Cambodian-American narratives.

“It means the world to us that she took the time to come here and speak,” said praCh Ly, the co-founder and co-director of the event.

Angelina Jolie at the Cambodia Town Film Festival on Saturday Sept. 15, 2018. Photo Courtesy Kerstin Kansteiner.

Last year, the film “First They Killed My Father,” which Jolie directed and screened at the festival. She showed up that year to promote the movie.

This year, she returned to continue boosting the event, according to Ly. It was a surprise to the audience, according to Ly, who said only members of the festival knew she was going to stop by.

Jolie has also been designated as an ambassador of the Cambodian Town Film Festival, Ly said.

During a short talk, Jolie wore a traditional Cambodian dress made in Long Beach by Khmer Bridal on Pacific Coast Highway, Ly said.

Angelina Jolie at the Cambodia Town Film Festival on Saturday Sept. 15, 2018. Photo Courtesy Kerstin Kansteiner.

Angelina Jolie at the Cambodia Town Film Festival on Saturday Sept. 15, 2018. Photo Courtesy Kerstin Kansteiner.

“First They Killed My Father,” is about surviving the Khmer Rouge’s brutal regime, which killed an estimated 2 million Cambodians. It was based on a memoir of the same name.

Last year, Jolie was also joined on stage by the memoir’s author, Loung Ung, and the film’s producer, Oscar-nominated Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh.

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.
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