Dy Saveth, the trailblazing actress of Cambodian cinema, may be a name unfamiliar to many young people today. However, her extraordinary journey and iconic role as the Snake Girl in the 1974 film have left an indelible mark on the industry. Meet actress Dy Saveth, a courageous artist who fearlessly embraced challenges and continues to inspire generations. Here are 5 facts you didn’t know about her!
- She’s Fearless
Imagine wearing live snakes on your head and embodying the role of the Snake Girl, despite having a fear of serpents. That’s precisely what Dy Saveth did, captivating audiences with her breathtaking performance in the 1973 Snake Girl. She even got bitten during a scene and acted through the pain. She defied her own fears to deliver an unforgettable portrayal, leaving an enduring legacy in Cambodian cinema and continued her recurring role as the Snake Girl.
- Sovann Kiri
Dy Saveth’s passion for the arts extended beyond her own performances. Together with her then partner Hui Keung, they founded Sovann Kiri, a production company that is the only Cambodian film studio that has produced more than 20 films, both traditional and modern. It led Cambodia through the golden age of cinema in the 60s and inspired a new generation of filmmakers.
- Blocked Stardom
Dy Saveth’s journey was not without its share of hardships. During the turbulent era of the Khmer Rouge regime, her acting career was cut short. However, her resilient spirit led her to seek refuge in France, where she survived and emerged stronger than ever.
- A Triumphant Return
After the dark days of the Khmer Rouge, Dy Saveth made a triumphant return to Cambodia. Fate intervened when she was recognized on the streets by a Cambodia National Television employee, igniting the spark for her remarkable comeback. With grace and determination, she reclaimed her rightful place in the limelight.
- International Star
Dy Saveth was one of the few Khmer actresses to work in an international set, the Snake Girl Drops In was shot in Taiwan with many famous Taiwanese actors at the time and the film was dubbed in French.
Extra fact: In Snake Girl Drops In, Dy Saveth’s own child was in the film with her.
Dy Saveth’s story is a testament to the enduring power of passion and resilience. Let us celebrate Dy Saveth, the timeless icon of Cambodian cinema, and carry her legacy forward, igniting the spark of creativity within us. Now you have a chance to see her films during the Cambodia International Film Festival. From May 30th to June 4th, you can see ‘Snake Girl’, ‘Snake Girl Drops In’, ‘Crocodile Men’, and ‘Princess Champa Thong’.
‘The Snake Girl’
May 31 @8PM LEGEND PREMIUM EXCHANGE SQUARE HALL 2
June 3 @2PM FRENCH INSTITUTE
‘The Snake Girl Drops In’
May 31@ 6PM LEGEND PREMIUM EXCHANGE SQUARE HALL 2
June 3 @ 2PM FRENCH INSTITUTE
June 4 @ 3:40 PM LEGEND PREMIUM OLYMPIA HALL 2
June 4 @ 4PM LEGEND MEGA MALL HALL 3
‘The Crocodile Men’
May 31@2PM Rosewood Phnom Penh
June 1 @2PM Bophana Center
‘Princess Champa Thorng’
May 31@4PM Rosewood Phnom Penh
June 1 @10AM Bophana Center
Please check the CIFF website, cambodiaiff.com for more information.
Written by Sotheavy Nou