Angelina Jolie to Direct Drama for Netflix, Will Work with Son, Maddox

By Cheri Cheng - 24 Jul '15 13:56PM
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Angelina Jolie, who just worked on a film with her husband, actor Brad Pitt, is ready to start her next project.

According to several reports, the 40-year-old actress will be producing and directing a film based on Loung Ung's memoir, "First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers." The screenplay was reportedly co-written by Jolie and Ung, who is also a human rights activist. Oscar-nominated director, Rithy Panh, will also produce the drama, which will be exclusively released on Netflix.

"We are proud to be with Angelina Jolie in bringing this emotionally powerful and ultimately uplifting story exclusively to Netflix members around the world," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. "Loung Ung's incredible journey is a testament to the human spirit and its ability to transcend even the toughest circumstances."

In the memoir, published in 2000, Ung recalls surviving the Khmer Rogue regime in Cambodia. Ung shares her stories about being trained as a child soldier while her six siblings were sent to work at labor camps.

"Angelina and I met in 2001 in Cambodia, and immediately, I trusted Angelina's heart," Ung, who has been working to improve Cambodia since 1995, said. "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."

"I was deeply affected by Loung's book," Jolie said. "It deepened forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it. And it helped me draw closer still to the people of Cambodia, my son's homeland. It is a dream to be able to adapt this book for the screen, and I'm honored to work alongside Loung and filmmaker Rithy Panh."

Jolie adopted her first child, Maddox, from Cambodia. Maddox will also reportedly be involved in the project. Jolie also talked about partnering with Netflix, which will be releasing the film in both Khmer and English.

"Films like this are hard to watch but important to see," Jolie explained. "They are also hard to get made. Netflix is making this possible, and I am looking forward to working with them and excited that the film will reach so many people.

Netflix announced on Thursday that it will submit the film to major film festivals before making it available via online streaming in the fall of 2016.

Production is expected to start later this year.

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