7TH ANNUAL KAFFNY

VILLAGE EAST CINEMA

October 24-26, 2013

OPENING NIGHT

East Coast premiere: SEEKING HAVEN (China, Laos, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand 2012, 51") Documentary directed by Hein Seok
23-year-old Youngsoon Kim, a North Korean defector living in South Korea, is trying to reunite with the family members she had left behind. In 2003, Youngsoon escaped from North Korea to China, where she lived in hiding for 5 years. Years later, discovering that her sister had been sentenced to a political prison camp in the North, Youngsoon returns to China. There she hires a smuggler and attempts to broker her sister's freedom.

MEMORY OF A FORGOTTEN WAR (USA 2012, 37")
Documentary directed by Deann Borshay Liem and Ramsey Liem.
Conveys the human costs of military conflict through deeply personal accounts of the Korean War (1950- 53) by four Korean-American survivors. Their stories take audiences through the trajectory of the war, from extensive bombing campaigns, to day-to-day struggle for survival and separation from family members across the DMZ. Decades later, each person reunites with relatives in North Korea, conveying beyond words the meaning of family loss. These stories belie the notion that war ends when the guns are silenced and foreshadow the future of countless others displaced by ongoing military conflict today.

With Short:

LYNN'S CLEANERS (USA 2013, 5")
Short animation directed by Phillip Ahn
A portrait of an old dry-cleaners business in the outskirts of Chicago.

CLOSING NIGHT
East Coast premiere
: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN (Korea USA 2012, 102") Fiction feature directed by In Hak Jang, screenwriter and producer Joon Bai in attendance. 

During the Korean War, a young nurse in the small town of Chunamri, North Korea, saves a wounded soldier who has been left behind during battle. Brought together by the unfortunate circumstance of war, theirs is a fateful meeting. His identity is unknown to her until he must return to South Korea. With the promise to return, the nurse waits a lifetime for him. Separated by war and countries between them, the young man tries everything to get back to the North but diplomatic relations between countries made it impossible for their reunion. As the years go by and their youth slips away from them, he finally gets an unexpected opportunity to fulfill his wish and return to her. But reunions are not easy and after years apart, they are met with more tragedy.

With Short:

PEAK (USA 2013, 4")
Short animation directed by Sonnye Lim Why do you climb mountains, little dog?

DONG-SIN HAHN TRIBUTE PROGRAM

One of America's earlier Korean transnationals, Hahn based herself of out of New York, starting out as a student. As she built her knowledge base and experience, Hahn began to curate film, music and arts programs to introduce Korean culture to America. Whereas many take for granted the popularity of Korean films in America today, Dong Sin Hahn was a pioneer, presenting the first US retrospectives of Kim Ki-Duk (2008), Im Kwon Taek (2004) and Shin Sang Ok (2002) in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art. With her youthful spirit, she touched the lives of many local and international artists, spanning generations, and she became an irreplaceable hub of the artistic community.

KAFFNY pays tribute to Dong Sin Hahn's groundbreaking curatorial choices with a selection from her programs. This year we present Kim Ki-Duk's Address Unknown in keeping with the Korean War program to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the armistice. This film screened at MoMA on Monday, April 28 and May 8, 2008.

ADDRESS UNKNOWN (Korea 2001, 117"),
Fiction feature directed by Kim Ki-Duk
One of Kim's more hot-blooded and extravagantly brutal melodramas imagines a village, Pyongtaek, in the 1970s, where commerce is intricately bound to an American army base. A mother and son live in an abandoned bus, where she writes to the boy's father, a black G.I., only to have the letters returned marked "address unknown." Her lover is a man who butchers dogs, and her son is his reluctant assistant; the son's acquaintances include a young girl blind in one eye, the girl's beloved pet dog, and a very shy boy. Communication takes place mainly through violent action.

FEATURE PRESENTATIONS:

World premiere: FADING AWAY (USA 2013, 95")
Documentary directed by Christopher H.K. Lee, filmmaker in attendance

Never before told stories from a group of Korean War veterans and refugees through a series of insightful interviews and the use of rare historical film footage, photos and other archival material. These veterans and survivors share their stories in their own words with their sons, daughters and grandchildren with memories of catastrophe, fear, and the pains they vividly remember. The film is divided into seven parts, strung together and led by the powerful recollection of the journey of a thirteen year-old Korean War orphan who fled the North to the South as he recalls his memories and emotions of the war.

With short:

ASSUMED IDENTITY: THE ART OF SUSAN SPONSLER (USA 2011, 5") 

Short documentary directed by John Carstarphen
Susan Sponsler-Carstarphen is an internationally recognized artist, working in photography and mixed- media such as encaustic, fabric and other forms. Her work has been in the US Embassy in Panama and has shown in galleries from Seoul to Los Angeles. She currently works and lives in Texas, struggling to create work that challenges our perceptions of women and women-of-color.
This brief look at her life and work explores the influence of being a Korean-American adoptee on her work.

THE GIRL FROM THE SOUTH (Argentina, Korea 2012, 94") Documentary directed by Jose Luis Garcia.

In 1989, José Luis García went with the Argentine delegation to a student festival in North Korea. García, who had just turned twenty-four, borrowed a VHS camera that joined him on his days of revolutionary tourism, recording the surrealistic landscape of that summer when North Korea opened its doors for the first time to thousands of young people from all over the world. The focus of his gaze changed when Lim Sukyung, a young activist, had come to Pyongyang representing the students of South Korea. Many years later, the pages of the internet began to toss out information about the fate of the “Flower of Reunification,” about her years in prison and other more banal news that was mixed with the death of her son and her reclusion for years in a Buddhist monastery. Shortly after Lim Sukyung reappeared in public life, the director contacted her by email and traveled to Seoul – with the objective of interviewing her.

With short:

5 PAR JOUR (France 2012, 5")
Short fiction directed by Jun Cordon
A Korean baby, a hand, one Korean woman and a stewardess... she's looking for something but what exactly?

OUR SON (USA 2013, 5")
Short animation directed by Eric Ko
Celestial bodies and the fragility of happiness.

FORGOTTEN WAR SHORTS

AIGO! (Japan 2011, 28")
Short fiction directed by Dalya Lee, US Premiere
Lee Kang-ho, a third-generation Korean immigrant living in Japan, tells his father at a New Year's memorial service that he wants to be a citizen of South Korea. His father, a Communist, refuses. Soon after, the family's daughter reveals that she has a Japanese boyfriend. The father's rage boils over, and the Lee family is in for a rough New Year's. What is it that makes their father so stubborn? The theme of choosing a nationality is explored in this film about family.

KOREA REMEMBERED (USA 2013, 15")
Short documentary directed by Kyle and Carlos Plummer (Kyle is 10th Grader), NY Premiere
In June of 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea in an attempt to unite the nation under communism. President Truman sent UN troops into the struggle to help drive the North Koreans away and restore a capitalist government in South Korea. After crossing the 38th Parallel, China entered the scene and cornered the UN Troops. The war ended in a stalemate in 1953.
These are the amazing stories of eight men who served during the Korean conflict. They are all members of my community and I am proud to call them my friends. Now, their stories can finally be told for everyone to hear. 

The [originally] five-minute movie was one of five winners of the Heroes Remembered: Voices of Korean War Veterans filmmaking contest, which challenged high school students to capture the experiences of American Korean War veterans on video. Before entering the contest, held in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense’s 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, Plummer said he didn’t know much about the war waged between North Korea, South Korea and their allies between 1950 and 1953.

LETTERS FROM PYONGYANG (Korea 2012, 28")
Short documentary directed by Jason Lee, NY Premiere
Canadian-Korean filmmaker Jason Lee unveils his father’s emotional story of a family torn apart during the Korean War. Together, they make a rare journey to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in search of long lost relatives. With exclusive never before-seen footage filmed in North Korea combined with archival images and family photographs,
Letters from Pyongyang is a deeply personal film bringing to light the tragic issue of divided families in Korea affected by political conflict.

JUCHE STRONG, (Korea USA 2013, 18")
Short documentary directed by Rob Montz, NY Festival Premiere
International observers have been predicting North Korea's imminent economic implosion for over two decades. And yet, the country persists. How? 'Juche Strong' provides an answer. This film explodes the most pernicious misconceptions of the country and argues that the propaganda-fueled national ideology has played an integral role in its survival. The Kim regime has crafted a very specific national ideology designed to tap into the unique cultural and religious heritage of the Korean people.

PEOPLE ARE THE SKY (Korea USA, in production)
Documentary directed by Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, filmmaker in attendance, KAFFNY Exclusive clips. Exclusive clips from documentarian Dai Sil Kim-Gibson's two trips, with unique access to the normal citizens of North Korea, for her final film.

SHORTS COMPETITION

MARIA MODERNE (USA 2013, 16")
Short fiction directed by Shirley Kim
Norma Bianchi leads a religion class at St. Mary Magdalene High School. She returns home to find Jeremy, her 16-year-old student, sound asleep in her bed. This has been a weekly ritual for almost two years. As he wakes up from the nap, they share a blissful moment of pure joy. Although Norma knows that this moment won’t last, she has become a different woman and can’t go back to who she was two years ago.

NONE OF THEM WILL COLLECT MY SOUL (USA 2013, 15")
Short fiction directed by Jae-Ho Chang, produced by Tim Kang of The Mentalist
A girl has a brief moment of reflection, where she traces her past to figure out what went wrong with her life.

LAST NIGHT (Korea 2012, 16")
Short fiction directed by Duri Bae, North America Premiere
A middle-aged woman who works in a small clothing store gets tired of her daily life. She plans to run away from her family and work with her lover.

SAFE (Korea 2013, 13")
Short fiction directed by Byoung-Gon Moon, US Premiere Isn't it too safe? 

암리치 (Korea 2012, 14")
Short fiction directed by Hyung-Gon Lee
Ju-Hee is being prepared for flight attendant job interview. She is always thinking that she failed a job interview because she came one centimeter up short in the Arm-Reach test. In order to solve this1cm problem, she makes her finger longer with special make-up. On interview day, she attaches the imitation finger, heads toward an interview place. But there's unexpected situation happens, so she is forced to employ the finger for an entirely different use.

EVA (USA 2012, 10")
Short fiction directed by Stephanie Ahn
Eva is convinced she may soon be entering a new chapter in her life when she comes across an engagement ring in her boyfriend's bedroom. In preparation for her future, she revisits the past in the form of a letter that she wrote to herself when she was 10 years old. The dreams and expectations of that young girl comes flooding back, and though her reality is far from the fantasy she once believed would be her life, Eva makes a conscious effort to embrace what she has instead of dwelling on what never was.

END OF THE WORLD (USA 2013, 15")
Short fiction directed by Willem Lee
After the death of his beloved grandmother, a young inquisitive and analytic Korean-American boy, 11- year-old Sokmok, befriends his sassy classmate, Eunyi, who believes that the world will come to an end.

SHORTS INCUBATOR PROGRAM

AFTER ALL (USA 2011, 10")
Short fiction directed by Margaret Shin
David is a Korean-American teen, expelled from his military academy for kissing a boy. His parents have picked him up from school to return home and while on a 'pee break', a suicidal David finds a deep hole in the woods to disappear into. Can his little brother Ben help him back out?

WHO IS PAULINE PARK? (USA 2012, 12”)
Short documentary by Jamerry Kim
Pauline Park is a transgender woman who is a Korean-American adoptee and an activist for human rights. To fulfill her longing for belonging, she has been tracing the genealogical roots of her Norwegian adoptive parents. In getting to know Pauline better, we can begin to question how identities can at times define and betray us at the same time.

KENI (USA 2013, 5”), John Maxwell
A short documentary about Keni Styles, Asian male porn star.

MAMIHLAPINATAPAI (USA 2013, 10”)
Short fiction by Joanne Mony Park.
After exchanging a brief glance with her dance instructor, Mariel is convinced she is in love with a woman. Her friend is sure she is going through a phase. After encountering her self-conscious, she decides on what to do next.

528 NEW YORK (USA 2012, 15")
Short fiction directed by Jules Suo.
Quan 15, a talented swimmer from Brownsville Brooklyn, while walking home one night from swimming practice at the gym, gets stopped by police doing a routine stop and frisk and is accused of a wrongful crime. (Inspired by real events)

BLACKBIRDS (USA, 2013, 9")
Short fiction directed by YoungKi Jin. 

To make money, two illegal immigrants go to work in Times Square.

POISONBERRY (USA 2013, 13")
Short fiction directed by Alice Cox, starring Rachel Lee
Poisonberry is a short fiction film about an Asian-American child whose estranged father kidnaps her from her loving, yet reckless young mother. Minnie finds she has to make do on her own as best she can with her complicated love for her mother and her father’s ultimate abandonment. Poisonberry is about a child who turns a corner after tasting first-hand the plight of struggling adults. The film’s title is inspired by a quote from Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children”: “
...because children are the vessels into which adults pour their poison...

BUBBLE GIRL (USA 2012, 13")
Short fiction directed by Jiyeon Song
Bubble Girl follows a young Korean student in New York City. Perplexed by society around her, she develops kleptomania to regain control.

OH MY BAG! (USA 2012, 22")
Short fiction directed by Seong Bong Lee, starring Rick Han
The story is about a Korean student who comes to New York to experience a new life. but his plans are derailed as he looses his luggage, as soon as he reaches New York. While looking for his luggage he realizes that sometimes it is important to lose something to find better things...

KAFFNY.2 VISUAL ARTS SECTION

Featured artists: Mina Cheon, Jane Jin Kaisen, Jeesu Kim, Chang-Jin Lee, Nara Park, Peter Bo Rappmund, with additional artists to be announced.
Curatorial Committee: Susie Lim, Hyejung Jang, Sunny Sunwha Shin
Curatorial Advisor: Doo Eun Choi