CAST

Sophea Pel (Sovanna) made her acting debut in director Greg Cahill’s 2006 short film The Golden Voice, where she portrayed legendary Cambodian songstress Ros Sereysothea.  As a teenager, Sophea was mesmerized by the film The Girl Who Spelled Freedom, the true story of a Khmer girl who won the spelling bee after 4 years of being in the United States. Since then, Sophea was inspired to become an actress. She was born in Battambang, Cambodia during the time when Vietnam was at war with the Khmer Rouge.  When her family fled from the fighting toward the Thai border, they had to leave Sophea’s youngest brother behind with her grandmother. He was too young for the dangerous 2-week journey across mine fields, jungles and Khmer Rouge sanctuaries.  Sophea and her family spent about 4 years in Thai refugee camps before coming to Long Beach, California in April of 1990.  In December 2007, Sophea and her father went to Cambodia to bring the youngest brother back to the US after sponsoring him for 6 years. The trip marked Sophea’s first time back in Cambodia and the first time reuniting with her brother after more than 20 years of separation. Sophea currently works in IT and enjoys billiards, singing and outdoor activities.  She loves Khmer art and culture, and hopes to remain active in sharing this culture with others.

Lida Lang (Reaksmey) was introduced to director Greg Cahill on the set of co-producer Arn Chorn Pond’s Khmer horror film Haunted House outside of Phnom Penh in 2008.  Lida is a television actress in Phnom Penh, appearing on a local drama series.  She was born in Kandal province, where she attended school.  She worked at a hospital for a short time before developing an interest in acting.  Two Shadows marks Lida’s first performance in a foreign film.  In her scarce free time, she enjoys reading, watching TV and listening to music.

Polo Doot (Munny) happened to be director Greg Cahill’s tuk-tuk driver during his first visit to Cambodia in 2007. The two remained good friends ever since. Polo was born in Kandal, Cambodia. During the civil war in the 1970s, his family sought refuge in Phnom Penh.  Once the city fell to the Khmer Rouge in 1975, Polo was separated from his family and forced into a labor camp in Battambang.  When the Khmer Rouge was ousted from power by the Vietnamese in 1979, Polo returned to his home province of Kandal to attend school.  From there, he started out working in a French restaurant in Phnom Penh, where he learned to speak French.  He got married in 2003, and had a daughter and a son shortly thereafter.  In 2006, he had saved up enough money to attend English language classes, and to purchase a tuk-tuk.  Polo has been a professional tuk-tuk driver and guide for tourists in Phnom Penh ever since.  Two Shadows marked his first time in front of a camera.  Polo hopes to appear in more films in the future.

Jonathan Nhean (Sovanna’s Father) was born in Battambang, Cambodia. After the Khmer Rouge took over the country in 1975, he was in a forced into a hard labor camp and cheated death three times from 1975 to 1979.  During the reign of the Khmer Rouge regime he lost his father and several family members. When Vietnam overthrew the Khmer Rouge in 1979, he fled to the Khao I Dang refugee camp in Thailand with his mother and younger brother. Two Shadows touches close to home for Jonathan because he too was separated from his brother while crossing the Thai border. Fortunately, his brother was later found in the refugee camp alive. Jonathan immigrated to the United States in 1981 and became an American citizen in 1989. Currently, Jonathan is a resident of Lake Elsinore, California with his wife Luan and daughter Marina Reachany. He works for AbilityFirst which provides programs and services to help children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities. He enjoys photography, camping and fishing.