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First Cambodian-American Drama Film ‘Two Shadows’


Two Shadows

Sophea Pel
Lida Lang
Polo Doot
Jonathan Nhean

Los Angeles, CA – Today’s cinematic climate fixates on giant robots, vampires and pirates smashing the world to pieces in 3D, but not all movie heroes and heroines come from comic books. Sovanna is a Cambodian-American hipster wannabe whose dreary life is suddenly jolted by a letter from Cambodia claiming that her long lost brother and sister are still alive. Sovanna braves a solo journey from California to Cambodia in search of her two siblings. From the moment she arrives, Sovanna finds herself thrust into a danger-infused adventure in the forthcoming independent drama film Two Shadows from first-time director Greg Cahill.

The film is an intimate look at the Cambodian-American experience, particularly the search for lost family members in the wake of the Khmer Rouge genocide. From 1975-1979, Cambodia was ruled by the Khmer Rouge communists, a regime with the blood of an estimated two million people on their hands. Many Cambodians escaped to refugee camps in Thailand, and from there immigrated to the United States. “Most Westerners know Cambodia solely through movies like The Killing Fields,” Cahill says. “But the aftermath of the killing fields has never been dramatized before.”

The storyline hits close to home for the film’s star Sophea Pel of Long Beach, CA. Most of Pel’s family escaped from Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge was at war with the Vietnamese. They resettled in California in 1990 after spending several years in Thai refugee camps. It wasn’t until 2007, two years before production of Two Shadows, that Pel and her father returned to Cambodia to meet her youngest brother and bring him back to the US. “It was my first time back in Cambodia and the first time reuniting with my brother after over 20 years of separation,” Pel said. Nearly every Cambodian actor and crew member involved in the film shares a similar story, which resonates powerfully on the screen.

Two Shadows marks the debut feature film from director Greg Cahill of Boston, and the first narrative feature film for producer Christen Hepuakoa Marquez of Honolulu. The duo met in film school at New York University and reconnected in Los Angeles in 2008. “The passion and commitment Greg had for this story is contagious, and I am glad to help make this film come to life. It’s an incredibly unique and moving story,” according to Marquez.

Two Shadows

Two Shadows will screen at US and international film festivals in the Fall of 2011. For information about screenings in your area and to watch the official movie trailer, visit

Originally Posted by Tyan Y.

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