BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., July 23 (UPI) -- Angelina Jolie Pitt is to direct and produce an adaptation of Loung Ung's memoir, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, Netflix announced Thursday.
The Cambodian author and human-rights activist recalls in the book her experiences surviving the deadly Khmer Rouge regime.
The Netflix Original Film is based on a script Jolie Pitt co-wrote with Ung. Acclaimed Cambodian director and producer Rithy Panh will also serve as a producer on the film, which will be made available to Netflix subscribers in late 2016. The screen drama also will be submitted to major international festivals. It will be released in both Khmer and English.
"I was deeply affected by Loung's book," Jolie Pitt said in a statement.
"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," she added. "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."
Jolie Pitt's Cambodian-born son, Maddox, will also be involved in the production of the film. He will turn 14 next month.
"We are proud to be working with Angelina Jolie in bringing this emotionally powerful and ultimately uplifting story exclusively to Netflix members around the world," remarked Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. "Loung Ung's incredible journey is a testament to the human spirit and its ability to transcend even the toughest circumstances."
"Angelina and I met in 2001 in Cambodia, and immediately, I trusted Angelina's heart," Ung commented. "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."
First They Killed My Father will begin production later this year in Cambodia and will precede Jolie Pitt's filming of Africa, which focuses on paleo-anthropologist Dr. Richard Leakey's decades-long fight to save Africa from the illegal wildlife trade. The filmmaker and Oscar-winning actress is currently in post-production on By The Sea, a drama written and directed by Jolie Pitt, and starring Jolie Pitt and her husband Brad Pitt. It will be released by Universal this year.