First They Killed My Father director, producer and co-screenwriter Angelina Jolie and co-screenwriter and executive producer Loung Ung, whose memoir the film is based upon, accepted the 3rd ANNUAL ASIAN WORLD FILM FESTIVAL (AWFF) ‘Rising Star’ Award on behalf of actress Sreymoch Sareum, who plays “Loung,”during a special screening of the film on October 30 at the Arclight Culver City. The film screened to a sold-out enthusiastic audience, and was followed by a Q&A with Jolie and Ung, moderated by Georges N. Chamchoum, AWFF Executive & Program Director.
Sareum stars as the principle character, Loung Ung, in First They Killed My Father, which is Cambodia’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film. The Netflix film is the adaptation of Cambodian author and human rights activist Ung’s gripping memoir of surviving the deadly Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1978. The story is told through her eyes, from the age of five, when the Khmer Rouge came to power, to nine years old. The film is produced by Angelina Jolie and acclaimed Cambodian director and producer Rithy Panh, director of the Oscar-nominated The Missing Picture.
Also in attendance were filmmakers and actors whose movies are showing in the festival including Director Sam Kadi (Syria), Anjeewa Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka), Pierre Sarraf (Lebanon), Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal), Bayram Najafov (Azerbaidjan), Philippe Aractingi (Lebanon), Aktan Arym Kubat (Kyrgystan), Murat Aliyev (Kyrgystan), Najia Khaan (Afganistan), Ha Phuong (Vietnam), Jarantai Altantseteg (Mongolia), Ganjuur Tsogtgerel (Mongolia), Xiao Dong Xie (China), Rekesh Salim Ismail (Iraq), Farhan Alam (Pakistan), Kurmashev Ernar (Kazakshstan), Gaukhar Gia Noortas (Kazakhstan), Karinne Behr (France), among others.
Joining the filmmakers were AWFF officials including Sadyk Sher Nyaz, festival Founder & Chairman; Georges N. Chamchoum, Executive & Program Director; Lani Netter, Director of Development & Philanthropy; Asel Sherniyazova, Co-Founder & Managing Director; and Brett Syson, Director of Operations.