PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The little-known Cambodia International Film Festival is getting a star-powered boost this year from Angelina Jolie Pitt.
The Hollywood star, who is currently in Cambodia filming her latest movie, will serve as president of the festival’s honorary committee, organizers said.
The festival held in the capital, Phnom Penh, runs Dec. 4-10 and is screening 130 films from 34 countries.
“Cambodia’s rich history, long culture and talented people mean it has a huge amount to offer the region and the world,” Jolie Pitt said in a statement issued Tuesday by the festival. “I’m proud to support the Cambodia International Film Festival and Cambodia as a home for vibrant and innovative filmmaking.”
Festival adviser Cedric Eloy, head of the Cambodian Film Commission, said Jolie Pitt’s role would provide moral support and help “bring attention to the rebirth of the Cambodian film industry.”
Cambodia’s film industry was devastated by the murderous reign of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. The regime executed artists, writers and filmmakers as part of its Maoist vision to eliminate the educated elite and transform the country into an agrarian utopia. More than 1.7 million people died under the regime.
Jolie Pitt is currently filming an adaptation of a Khmer Rouge biography, “First They Killed My Father,” based on a 2000 memoir by Cambodian author and human rights activist Luong Ung.