After each Lift-Off film festival screening, evaluation forms are handed out to the audience in order to evaluate each film. Then those sheets are sent to each participating filmmaker by the Lift-Off Film Festival Global Network. The above two sheets evaluated BIKINI WORDS at the London Lift-Off Film Festival and ironically show how hard it is to satisfy an audience as a filmmaker: One might hate a film, whereas someone else might love it.
Despite this I am happy to announce that BIKINI WORDS as the winner of the Best Short Documentary at the Liverpool Lift-Off Film Festival 2016 and after having been screened at Lift-Off global film festival events in Tokyo, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney and London, is now nominated for the Lift-Off Season Awards 2016 as a Best Short Documentary Nominee.
At the end of every respective Lift-Off Season the Lift-Off Film Festival Global Network awards from the years programme the creatives behind the best of the indie film having been showcased.
BIKINI WORDS focuses on new vocabulary, which evolved amongst factory workers during the rapid industrialisation of South Korea throughout the 1970s and 1980s in order to put names to the radically new aspects of their urbanised lives.
After the short documentaries CHOA and BIKINI WORDS now also LAST LETTERS has been featured as an Editor’s Pick by The Atlantic. Thanks to Nadine Ajaka for showcasing the video! LAST LETTERS is a journey through loss, space and memory. The film commemorates the victims of the tragic Sewol ferry accident, in which 304 out of 476 passengers and crew members died in 2014.
LAST LETTERS has been selected as a SHORT OF THE WEEK ! Each day the prestigious online platform Short of the Week features one handpicked film, which they consider to be among “the greatest and most innovative stories from around the world”. This way Short of the Week has been serving up epic, bite-sized films to millions around the world since 2007. Please follow this link to watch LAST LETTERS on Short of the Week and have a look at Jason Sondhi’s much appreciated review (right below the film).
On the 16th of April 2014 a ferry en route from Incheon to Jeju Island in Korea capsized. 304 out of 476 passengers and crew members died in this tragic accident. This short film follows eight families that lost loved ones that day, and explores the physical and emotional spaces that the tragedy left behind. The film juxtaposes documentary and fictional elements. It shines a light on this still unsolved tragedy and shows the isolation the families feels while they pose for an incomplete family portrait.
More than 2 1/2 years have passed since the Sewol ferry tragedy, which took place on the 16th of April 2014. This day has marked a black day on the Korean calendar ever since for many people. Korea has not been the same again.
Many of the remaining family members of the victims have become engaged in activism due to dissatisfaction with the Korean government and how they handled the tragedy. Nine of the victim’s bodies have never been recovered while the government failed to retrieve the shipwreck to carry out a full investigation. Many people in Korea, not just those affected directly by the tragedy, have many questions about the circumstances of the accident and who should be held responsible for the loss of so many innocent lives. Several Korean filmmakers have tackled the Sewol disaster to examine how this could have happened. And since these documentaries are investigative, I felt I would rather like to create something from a different point of view.
As most of my work is inspired by space and architecture, the living spaces of the remaining family members became the focus of this film. I also wanted to make a documentary film with fictional elements and more of a poetic approach, which hopefully speaks to the families instead of stirring up their anger with hard facts. I hope that this is a film which could bring them some measure of peace in relation to their lost loved ones.
I really hope that this film speaks to the families, but also makes a bigger international audience aware of this dark day in Korean history. This is something the families, who have been abandoned by the Korean government in their search for the truth, are really hoping for.