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Angelina Jolie's Cambodian war film for Netflix expected to boost tourism

Angelina Jolie is slated to direct a Netflix film based on the 2000 memoir of Cambodian author human rights activist Loung Ung. The film is expected to generate increased interest in Cambodia as a holiday destination much in the same way that the 1984 film "Killing Fields" drove interest in Cambodia's Angkor Wat and the killing fields.

Angelina Jolie's Cambodian war film for Netflix expected to boost tourism

Netflix has announced that Angelina Jolie Pitt will direct a film based on the life of Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung during the time of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Jolie Pitt is said to have worked directly with Ung on the script for the movie, which is scheduled to hit the streaming service towards the end of 2016. Ung, who was just five years old when the Khmer Rouge regime first came into power, was forced from her family home in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans.

Ung’s memoir “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers”, published in 2000, caught Jolie Pitt’s attention and led to a close friendship between the two which ultimately resulted in the collaboration on the screenplay.

On her decision to partner with Netflix Jolie Pitt cited the popular streaming site’s reach and influence, she said:

“Films like this are hard to watch but important to see. 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.”

The film, which will be released in both Khmer and English, is expected to spark increased interest in Cambodia as a holiday destination much in the same way that the 1984 movie “Killing Fields” led a boom in movie tourism for the Southeast Asian country with Angkor Wat and the killing fields now top tourist attractions in Cambodia.

Skift, one of the leaders in intelligence on travel trends in the tourism industry, produced a report in 2013 on “The Rise of Destination Marketing Through Movies and TV”.

Skift’s report noted that for as many as 40 million holidaymakers, the films and or TV shows that they watched was the deciding factor for their choice of holiday destination. Films and TV series such as Lost in Thailand, The Beach, Braveheart, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey have all had a notable positive impact on the tourism industry of the locations in which they were filmed.

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