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.
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.
“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.
Valerie Osier is a breaking news reporter for the Long Beach Post. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @ValerieOsier
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