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Angelina Jolie recently spent a few days at the Cannes Film Festival helping Paramount and DreamWorks promote the upcoming Kung Fu Panda sequel, but she left the south of France with some heartening news about her own directorial debut.

Titled In the Land of Blood and Honey, Jolie’s film centers around a forbidden romance set against the backdrop of the Bosnian Civil War that raged during the 1990s. FilmDistrict announced Sunday night that it will release the movie in the U.S., and has targeted a Dec. 23 release date, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The actress also explained that she came up with the film’s title “just ahead of Sunday's announcement,” and struggled with the right name after compiling lists of potential selections. “It’s a heavy film. You want to find that title that really helps the audience know what they’re walking into,” Jolie told Entertainment Weekly over the weekend in Cannes.

The film’s subject matter sounds intriguing, focusing on a relationship between a Serbian man (Goran Kostic) and a Bosnian-Muslim woman (Zana Marjanovic). Though while Jolie does not act in the film, it is her name and reputation that will help sell it to audiences. I’m most interested in seeing what Jolie has learned about filmmaking after spending most of her life on a set and absorbing techniques from the likes of Clint Eastwood, Oliver Stone, Mike Newell and Robert Zemeckis. Several actors have made a successful transition to the director’s chair. Will Jolie follow in their footsteps?

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