SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Feb. 18, Kyodo: Hollywood actress and director Angelina Jolie opened the premier of new film about the Khmer Rouge at the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia on Saturday, with the country's king and queen in attendance.

Jolie gave a short speech at the premier, in which she said that her film, "First They Killed My Father," was "not made to focus on the horror of war, but to celebrate the resilience, kindness and talent of the Cambodian people."

Earlier in the day, she said the film, which she has directed, will help the world understand what happened in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime.

Speaking at a press conference in Siem Reap province, where the temple is located, just hours before the film was screened, Jolie said she was "proud" of the film and described it as "wonderful."

She said she wanted to tell the world not only about the "war" in Cambodia's past, but to help people better understand the country's culture, arts, beauty and history.

The film is dedicated to all the people who died under the Khmer Rouge regime, and those who survived.

It focuses on the love and dedication of a Cambodian family, and celebrates the beauty, spirit and resilience of the Cambodian people and culture.

"First They Killed My Father" was shot on location in Cambodia between November 2015 and February 2016, and was filmed entirely in the Khmer language and with Cambodian actors.

Cambodian technicians, artisans and craftsmen comprised the largest portion of the crew, along with more than 3,500 local background actors.

At the premiere, Phoeurng Sackona, minister of culture and fine arts, gave an opening speech, in which she described the film as a part of Cambodian history.

"Although it is a terrible past, it is a lesson learned for the nation that leads us to protect an invaluable security and stability of the country, which had to be started from scratch after the Khmer Rouge," she said.

"I am certain I speak for many of us here tonight when I say that I have been and I am deeply touched by your thoughtful interest in Cambodia's tragic past, and grateful for the opportunities your film represents for the future of our country," she added.

Chhang Youk, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which archives the history of the Khmer Rouge, told Kyodo News that there have been three major international productions on the Khmer Rouge since the collapse of the regime, which was blamed for the deaths of at least 1.7 million Cambodians, in 1979.

The productions were "The Killing Fields," "The Hell with Nine Levels," and "First They Killed My Father."

"Each film helps contribute to sustaining dialogue between the inter-generations and between the older and the younger, and that is very important for Cambodia...we have to maintain this, search for the truth," he said.

Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, government officials and

high-profile personalities, together with people from the diplomatic corps, were among the 1,500 people who attended the premiere.

The film will subsequently be screened around the country and to the rest of the world.

When asked if she has plans for her next movie in Cambodia, Jolie said she is relying on her Cambodian partner Rithy Panh to conceptualize a future film.

Jolie, who has adopted a Cambodian son, now aged 15, said Cambodia is like her "second home." Her son Maddox appeared on stage with her at the premiere.