New York Film Academy Hosts Press Conference With Acclaimed Korean Directors

September 11, 2013

The Korea Society and New York Film Academy co-presented a press conference, moderated by NYFA Senior Director David Klein, with Korean directors, Chung Ji-young (National Security), Lee Ji-seung (Azooma), and Jeon Soo-il (El Condo Pasa).

The ‘Focus on Korea’ event is part of ‘ContemporAsian’ film series, which selects critically acclaimed Korean films, highlighting current social issues, injustice and human nature. The films amplify distinctive narrative skills from some of Korea’s insightful and penetrative renegade filmmakers.

National Security, which had its New York Premiere at the MoMA, garnered acclaim by The Hollywood Reporter as “one such picture from South Korea, an entirely sincere and dignified effort by Chung Ji-young.” Screen Daily commented that El Condo Pasa (New York Premiere, MoMA) is, “a compelling addition to Jeon Soo-il’s body of work,” noting that the film “mirrors the themes of religion, grief and forgiveness found in Lee Chang-dong’s Secret Sunshine (2007).” Director Lee’s Azooma had accolades from Beyond Hollywood, “Azooma is certainly a very angry film, though justifiably so, and it’s all the more powerful for the fact that it’s very well made.”


Dir. Chung Ji-young was born in 1946. He honed his directing skills by working as an assistant director to filmmaker Kim Soo-yong. Chung’s first feature debut was an erotic mystery, The Mist Whispers Like a Woman. His early films were mostly melodramas and thrillers, but after the late 1980s, he moved on to more politically-charged films. His most well-known films are North Korean Partisan in South Korea (1990), White Badge (1992), Life and Death of the Hollywood Kid (1994), Unbowed (2012) and National Security (2012). He is also known as a representative activist director in Korean film industry by leading fellow filmmakers and actors on issues such as screen quota system, and abolishment of the precensorship system .

Dir. Lee Ji-seung was born in 1969. His father owns a film production company, Taehung Pictures, which is famous for IM Kwon-taek’s ‘Sopyonje’, and ‘Strokes of Fire’. After graduating from the Department of Theatre and Cinema of Hanyang University, Lee completed his MA in Cinema Studies at New York University. Azooma is his first film as a director.

Dir. Jeon Soo-il was born in 1959. Director Jeon Soo-il spent his youth in theological school, but graduate Kyungsung University in Busan majoring Theatre & Film. Jeon continued his studying in film direction at Ecole Supérieure de Réalisation Audiovisuelle (E.S.R.A) in France, and completed his master and doctorate degrees in Film Science at the Paris Diderot University in Paris, France. Back in Korea, he made an independent film organization ‘Dongnyuk’ based in Busan.