Count Angelina Jolie Pitt as the latest Hollywood heavyweight to turn to Netflix. The streaming giant announced Thursday that the Oscar-winning actress and humanitarian will direct an original film.
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers is an adaptation of the memoir by Cambodian-American author Loung Ung, who survived the Khmer Rouge era in her birth country. During their reign, the Khmer Rouge killed nearly 2 million Cambodians in four years. Ung became a child soldier, while her six siblings were forced into labor camps.
“I was deeply affected by Loung’s book. It deepened forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it,” Jolie Pitt said in a statement. “And it helped me draw closer still to the people of Cambodia, my son’s homeland.
“It is a dream come true to be able to adapt this book for the screen, and I’m honored to work alongside Loung and filmmaker Rithy Panh.”
The statement also mentioned that Jolie Pitt’s Cambodian-born son, Maddox, will be a part of production.
“Angelina and I met in 2001 in Cambodia, and immediately, I trusted Angelina’s heart,” Ung said in a statement. “Through the years, we have become close friends, and my admiration for Angelina as a woman, a mother, a filmmaker, and a humanitarian has only grown. It is with great honor that I entrust my family’s story to Angelina to adapt into a film.”
Ung and Jolie Pitt co-adapted the memoir into a screenplay. This will be Jolie Pitt’s fourth feature film; her most recent, Unbroken, was released last Christmas. Panh, director of the Oscar-nominated Best Foreign Language film The Missing Picture, will produce.
The film will begin production on site in Cambodia later this year and will be released in 2016.