Casting Call for "Bitter Melons" Film.
A young line cook is tasked with delivering bitter melons to her estranged father, but instead, creates a healing elixir that opens the door to connection with her tribe, family, and Cambodian roots.
PAID SAG Union/Non-Union Film
Shoot Dates July 20-23, 2017
From the Director: I had my love for this "exotic" vegetable/fruit, my fascination for the culinary world, and my need to explore a father/daughter relationship in the context of the Cambodian refugee immigrant story.
I want to dig deep below the layers of cultural and ethnic identity to find the common thread that connects us all. I especially want to explore the ways food, tribe, and family becomes a means to our survival as human beings."
Sophia (female, 25) - The main character. Sophia is a Cambodian woman who grew up in the United States, in Chicago. Her mother died when she was little and her father left her to be raised by an aunt. Sophia hates her dad for abandoning her and it has led her to push away from her family's culture. Her arms are covered in tattoos and she has a busy life as a line cook in a local restaurant. Now, Sophia's dad has moved to Chicago to be closer to her and Sophia doesn't know if she's willing to reconnect. But her dad was a restaurant cook, too, and maybe for years Sophia has been searching for a connection to him through cooking.
Chenda (female, 50's) - The aunt of the main character (Sophia). Chenda is a Cambodian woman living in Chicago. She emigrated as a refugee decades ago and raised Sophia after Sophia's mother died and Sophia's father left. Chenda has survived many things. She grows vegetables and herbs in her garden for cooking Cambodian dishes. She wishes that Sophia would let go of her anger and reconnect with her father, as well as her Cambodian heritage. Must speak Khmer.
Piseth (male, 50's) - The father of the main character (Sophia). Piseth is a Cambodian man who recently moved to Chicago to live in the same city as his daughter, Sophia. Years ago, after his wife died in a Cambodian refugee camp, Piseth left baby Sophia with an aunt to raise her, and moved away and worked as a cook in American chain restaurants. He sent money for Sophia's care, but that was his only connection. He fought as a soldier against the Khmer Rouge and carries a lot of difficult memories with him. He badly wants to reconnect with his daughter now and knows that he can't undo the past. He hopes that Sophia will allow him the chance to get to know her. Must speak Khmer.
Chef Tony (male, 50's) seeking real Chef! Anthony Bourdain type who runs a tight ship in the kitchen
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