Saturday, November 4, 2006

Dy Saveth - Cambodia's Bridgette Bardot

I'm hoping someone can tell me more about one of Cambodia's most famous faces, movie actress Dy Saveth, who was dubbed the Cambodian Bridgette Bardot in her heyday and who at 62 years of age, has lost none of her vivacity and sparkle. Today Dy Saveth is a professor of fine arts at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and is sharing the secret of her success with Cambodia's next generation. Indeed, her latest film, The Crocodile, released in 2005 and directed by Mao Ayuth, is regarded as one of the country's finest for many years. Perhaps her most famous film role was as the Snake Girl in the 1971 adaptation of a Khmer folk tale, though she starred in a great many films including Crepuscule (Twilight), in 1969, a film directed by and starring Norodom Sihanouk and his wife Monique. Dy Saveth, a face known to all of Cambodia's cinema-goers in the '60s and '70s, managed to escape from the turmoil of Phnom Penh in 1975 and settled in France, one of the very few actors to survive the genocidal rule of the Khmer Rouge.

If you have more details about the life and career of Dy Saveth, please let me know.


Anonymous author said...

Reposted comments:

jinja said...

Saw her sing at a party no more than two weeks ago. She looks like she's doing well, I'll dig up more info.

8:41 PM
SovannaPhum said...

Dee Sawayt Never live under the Khmer rouge. When pol pot victory in April 17th 1975 she was outside the Country, she is the good luck star. She is in Cambodia right now.
She came to the United States in the 1983 we saw her on the stage apearance she was looking young.

Mostly Vichara Dany starring the most films. Or Som VanSodany good actres. Som Van Sodany Star in the Cambodian movie in the 1970 name Kromom Chaul Maloup. I have never seen that movie but only the preview of it.

If all the Cambodian movie stars had known what will going to happen during the pol pot khmer rouge going to kill innocent Khmers people, the would have got out to other countries Like France or United States.

During the pol pot Khmer rouge you are not allow to go anywhere even the next town you need to have a permission in writing in order to go in a very short distance.

Khmer rouge got helped from fat King Sihanouk and viet cong, north viet helped side by side with the khmer rouge to give Khmer rouge victory. Arms supply from China to Khmer rouge.

9:26 PM
Ken Dy said...

Wow.. my Aunty is on the internet!

11:16 AM

March 28, 2008 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Mark Roy said...

By Mom Kunthear
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Phnom Penh Post

She's been an actress since 1960, when she won Cambodia's first beauty pageant, and shows no signs of quitting. Her most recent role was in the short film In Drama, about 'love and war'

Renowned Cambodian film star Dy Saveth, 64, has been acting since 1960, getting her start at the age of 16 after winning Cambodia's first beauty pageant the year before.

Her distinguished career began by chance when a movie producer approached her.
Being one of the most recognisable faces in Cambodia, Dy Saveth fled the country for France when the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975. Prior to leaving, she and her then-husband Huoy Keng ran a movie production company.

In 1975 they separated - Huoy Keng escaped to Hong Kong - and were later divorced.
Together the pair have two children, and Dy Saveth has since adopted two more. A big family suits the actress, who was herself one of seven children.

Dy Saveth's return to Cambodia in 1993 was greeted with shock, as most people had presumed that she - like most other actors of her generation - had been killed by the Khmer Rouge or died as a result of their rule.

She resumed her career on screen and continues to appear in numerous projects. Currently, she is a professor of fine arts at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, where she works to inspire a new generation of Khmer actors.

What was the first film you acted in?
Dy Saveth: The first movie I performed in was Kboun Chivit (Raft Life). Initially, I didn't want to act in films, but the movie producer of Kboun Chivit contacted my sister and asked her if I would be willing to act in their film. I was very lucky that this was the first film I was in because it has a good story line and the audience liked it."

I noted down all films i was in, but i lost the book during the pol pot regime.

What were the difficulties you encountered when you first started acting?
Dy Saveth: I didn't really know how to act when I first started my career, but I tried very hard to learn and I believe that's why I achieved success. I teach acting now, and I usually tell my students to focus on what they are doing because if they just listen without concentrating and practicing, they will not succeed. I teach my students for free because when I first started out, the audience really supported me and now I want to return this kindness. I don't have much money or property to give them. I only have my acting knowledge to pass on to those who want to learn.

How many films have you been in?
Dy Saveth: I have acted in around 100 films. I noted down all films I was in, but I lost the book during the Pol Pot regime. Pos Kengkong (The Python) and Sak Pos (Snake Hair) were the turning point, as the films made me very famous both locally and internationally.

How do you compare today's films to the films of the past?
Dy Saveth: All movie producers, writers and cameramen learned their craft at school in the past, except for the actors and actresses who listened to the producers' lead. Now, [they] learn the skills from each other. I never complained when I had to work very hard because I believed that at the end I would achieve success. I was lucky enough to work with good scriptwriters who tried to make each film different. Today, many actors and actresses are afraid of experiencing difficulties.

How many international movie stars have you worked with?
Dy Saveth: I have performed with Thai, Taiwanese, Korean, Indonesian and Chinese actors. King Sihanouk wrote and directed four films that I have appeared in. My latest film, In Drama, was filmed last year. It is a 30-minute story about love and war, and it hasn't been released on TV yet.

How do you keep yourself looking so young?
Dy Saveth: I try to avoid unhappy things that make me feel depressed. Also, I think carefully about the type of food I eat to stay healthy and drink plenty of water.

July 19, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

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