MINERVA | Global Immersion: Seoul

Posted on Feb 15, 2018

THE GLOBAL IMMERSION SERIES

Founded in 2014, Minerva Schools is designed around a new vision of higher education that combines a reinvented curriculum, rigorous academic standards, innovative technology, and an immersive global experience. Students study in seven different cities over the course of four years, where they engage with local civic partners to apply classroom knowledge to practical, real-world problems. The above film is part of a series directed by LA based Andrew Hida in collaboration with Minerva’s Creative Director Ayo Seligman. As a Director of Photography, I had the pleasure to work with Andrew and Ayo together on the Seoul episode and we were all supported with the great help of local producer Mini Kim.

Global Immersion: Seoul” is a short film, which highlights how classroom curriculum extends into the urban fabric and shapes their personal, professional and academic growth. As part of a broader marketing campaign a series of 60-second cuts were also produced for social media engagement.

BRIEF

The target audiences of this series are prospective students and the parents of these students who are seeking to better understand the Minerva global experience. Andrew and Ayo describe how they wanted the viewer to understand the full spectrum of daily life, from the demanding academics, to the immersive social and co-curricular activities. The goal was to make a film which quickly convinces the viewer why they belong at Minerva by telling the story of how the Minerva experience stands apart from that of the traditional university through personal stories of challenge and growth.

CHALLENGES AND RESULT

Over the course of two years, Andrew and Ayo have directed the first four short films in the Global Immersion series. Andrew says that each subsequent episode pushes deeper into stories of personal and professional development as they come into their own. Instead of replicating the same mold for each episode, the storyline instead evolves in parallel to student growth and an evolving world view. This distinct approach enabled Andrew together with Minerva to build on existing story and expand on emotional impact.

In order to achieve the authentic, cinematic documentary style that defines the Minerva brand, Minerva and Andrew say that they assembled a team of cinematographers with a strong background in visual journalism. They further note that weeks of creative design and pre-production proved essential to manage the complex timing and logistics of multiple shooters and photographers, navigating large, foreign cities.

For me, it was great to take part in this great and meaningful project and I am glad that I was able to offer my services as a Director of Photography for the above film. I would like to thank Ayo, Andrew and Mini for all their great support.

PLASTIC GIRLS | CINEQUEST Spotlight Trailer

Posted on Feb 14, 2018

To pay tribute to our participation at CINEQUEST, one of the top worldwide festivals, Udo Lee, In-ah Shin and I made this short and fun spotlight trailer.

PLASTIC GIRLS has been selected as part of the 28th edition of CINEQUEST FILM & VR FESTIVAL among 1750 entries from more than 120 countries. The film will screen in the Short Film Competition at the following dates and venues:

* Sat, Mar 3, 12:25 PM at 3 Below Theaters & Lounge (formerly Camera 3 Cinemas) – 288 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113
* Mon, Mar 5 8:15 PM at Century 20 Redwood City (Screen 10) – 1627, 825 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063
* Sat, Mar 10 10:00 AM at 3 Below Theaters & Lounge (formerly Camera 3 Cinemas) – 288 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113
* Sun, Mar 11 10:45 AM at Century 20 Redwood City (Screen 11) – 1627, 825 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063

CINEQUEST FILM & VR FESTIVAL has been voted as “Best Film Festival (of the nation)” in a 2015 poll by the readers of USA TODAY and the HUFFINGTON POST includes CINEQUEST in a list of the “10 Best Film Festivals you’ve never heard of“.

PLASTIC GIRLS at 28th Cinequest Film Festival

Posted on Feb 13, 2018

Plastic Girls at Cinequest

We are incredibly honored to announce that PLASTIC GIRLS will screen in the Short Film Competition as part of the 28th edition of CINEQUEST & VR FESTIVAL from February 27th to March 11th, 2018 in San Jose, California – the world’s most influential technology center, Silicon Valley. CINEQUEST itself has been voted as “Best Film Festival (of the nation)” in a 2015 poll by the readers of USA TODAY and the HUFFINGTON POST includes CINEQUEST in a list of the “10 Best Film Festivals you’ve never heard of“. PLASTIC GIRLS has been chosen among 1750 entries from more than 120 countries.

About Plastic Girls

PLASTIC GIRLS is the last film of a Korea related trilogy following BIKINI WORDS and LAST LETTERS. What unites the 3 films is a strong focus on issues related to space and architecture, but each film itself stands out with an individual subject matter. PLASTIC GIRLS is the most quirky out of the 3 films. The presented mannequins are unique to Korea and the film explores through them a clever way to address gender issues in Korea without flatly denouncing the society itself.

For more information about PLASTIC GIRLS please read a very thorough interview on film blog DIRECTORS NOTES, which dives into some of the ideas behind and the making of this film.

Screening Times

Along with the feature documentary PURDAH by director Jeremy Guy, PLASTIC GIRLS will screen 4 times at the following dates and venues:

* Sat, Mar 3, 12:25 PM at 3 Below Theaters & Lounge (formerly Camera 3 Cinemas) – 288 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113
* Mon, Mar 5 8:15 PM at Century 20 Redwood City (Screen 10) – 1627, 825 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063
* Sat, Mar 10 10:00 AM at 3 Below Theaters & Lounge (formerly Camera 3 Cinemas) – 288 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA 95113
* Sun, Mar 11 10:45 AM at Century 20 Redwood City (Screen 11) – 1627, 825 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063

For more information about screening times, venues and the festival in general, please visit the CINEQUEST & VR FESTIVAL website.

PLASTIC GIRLS on DIRECTORS NOTES

Posted on Dec 1, 2017

Directors Notes

After BIKINI WORDS and LAST LETTERS now PLASTIC GIRLS, the final part of the Korean shorts trilogy, is featured with an extensive interview on film blog Directors Notes. Directors Notes is a website dedicated to giving a voice to independent filmmakers, covering aspects of filmmaking from concept to completion. Regarding the interview author MarBelle writes that “in the interview Nils discusses his critical exploration of the link between commerce and the sexualisation of public space, as well as his continued experimentation and redefinition of the ‘rules’ of documentary filmmaking.”

Plastic Girls

PLASTIC GIRLS is a quirky short documentary film, which presents mannequins unique to Korea and explores through them a clever way to address gender issues in Korea without flatly denouncing the society itself. To watch the film and also read the in-depth interview on DIRECTORS NOTES, please follow this link.

Cold Summer. A short film by Namhui Park

Posted on Dec 1, 2017

Background

COLD SUMMER is a short film written and directed by NAMHUI PARK in 2013. Myself I helped as a DoP on this film. It has been 4 years since the making of this film and accessible digital technology for independent filmmakers has tremendously developed since then. Needless to say that we all as filmmakers keep moving on. This film had not funding and has been created with basically no budget, but with the great help of Namhui’s friends. COLD SUMMER has been entirely shot on the 5D MK III with a set of old Nikon Ai-s prime lenses. Tracking shots have been shot with a simple handheld stabalizer. In order to hold focus, we mainly used wide-angle lenses and tried to maintain the same distance to our subjects. As DoP’s we are often too judgemental if it comes to viewing our old footage and we quickly despise it due to it’s flaws related to technology. Yes, the highlights and blacks could hold up better with a better camera, yes the tracking shots would have been nicer with a gimbal device and wireless focus attached to the rig. But still (despite it’s simplicity) this is a film which I still believe to have a strong visual language with a number of powerful mood-driven shots.

The Story

COLD SUMMER is a story about a young girl, who has to deal with her absent minded and suicidal mother. Together they live in a tiny space in the slums of Seoul. The mother’s depression is caused by a past tragic incident in which her husband had not only died, but was also found guilty of having an affair with another woman. One day hat same woman seeks out the mother in order to free her child from the violent circumstances she is trapped in.

Sales & Distribution

For sales and distribution please reach out to Indiestory.

BIKINI WORDS at 14th Sedicicorto International

Posted on Oct 10, 2017

BIKINI WORDS will play at the 14th Sedicicorto International Film Festival on October 11th 2017.

Sedicicorto International Film Festival, born in 2004, is a short film festival held every year in the month of October in Forlì close to Bologna, Italy. It boasts submissions from all over the world by filmmakers mainly dealing with short films. The event aims at drawing the attention not only of the filmgoers, but also of the audience interested in the audiovisual world, within an occasion promoting the exchange of ideas.

BIKINI WORDS plays out of competition in the Experia section of the 14th Sedicicorto International Film Festival, which contains a selection of experimental short films. Together with Werner Biedermann’s JAMAIS VU, Tim Weimann’s UNITED INTEREST, Eileen Byrne’s IRIDESCENE and Benjamin Bardou’s GLORIA VICTIS, BIKINI WORDS will play at Biblioteca Aurelio Saffi (Corso della Repubblica 72 – Forlì) on Wednesday Oct. 11th at 5pm.

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.

LAST LETTERS at One Screen Short Film Festival

Posted on Sep 27, 2017

Finalist
LAST LETTERS has been shortlisted as a finalist in the documentary category of the One Screen Short Film Festival 2017.

About the One Club
One Screen is the original film festival for the creative community by the creative community. It’s the premiere festival that unites the film and advertising world on One Screen. The One Club for Creativity, producer of the prestigious One Show, ADC Annual Awards and Creative Week, is the world’s foremost non-profit organization recognizing creative excellence in advertising and design. The ADC Annual Awards honors the best work in terms of craft, design and innovation across all disciplines, including Advertising, Digital, Design and Motion. Creative Week takes place in New York City every May and is the preeminent festival celebrating the intersection of advertising and the arts.

The One Club and ADC announced their merger last fall to form The One Club for Creativity, which serves as the umbrella organization for The One Show, ADC Awards, Young Guns, Young Ones, Creative Week, One Screen, Hall of Fame and a wide range of global education and diversity programs. The new entity celebrates the legacy of creative advertising and design, and uses that legacy to inspire future generations.

The awards shows each have their distinct focus: the ADC Annual Awards maintains its historical concentration as the champion for craft, design and innovation, while The One Show continues its focus on creativity of ideas and quality of execution.

The Line Up
I am honoured that LAST LETTERS is part of this year’s strong documentary section line up by competing with exciting films like Anderson Wright’s NZINGHA, Joris Debij’s PERFECTLY NORMAL, Henry Busby’s THE UNBELIEVERS: BURNELL COTLON, Keith Rivers’s THE QUIET MAN, FCB Chicago’s THE UNFORGOTTEN, Wild Breed Productions NEPAL: A FRAGILE STATE, Supply & Demand’s PICKLE and Jon Bunning’s THE TABLE.

The Event and Tickets
Winners will be recognized at the awards ceremony on October 17 at Sunshine Cinema (143 East Houston Street), a Landmark Theatre in New York City’s Lower East Side. You can now secure your tickets if you tickets. Doors will open at 6:30 pm and the screening starts at 7:00 pm. After the event there will be a networking reception from 9:00 pm onwards. Ticket prices are $US 15 for members and $US 20 for non-members. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served following the screening.

Last Letters
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. LAST LETTERS 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 feel while they pose for an incomplete family portrait.

LAST LETTERS at 5. DUHOK International Film Festival

Posted on Sep 15, 2017

LAST LETTERS will play at the 5th Duhok International Film Festival on September 15th 2017. Duhok itself is a town with approximately 250,000 inhabitants in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The Duhok International Film Festival “wishes to return a cultural identity to this region, so that it is perceived again as a place of development instead of a place of political conflict.” I very much appreciate the festivals intentions and I’m glad that LAST LETTERS will be part of this unique event.

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. LAST LETTERS 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 feel while they pose for an incomplete family portrait.

Vimeo Staff Pick for PLASTIC GIRLS

Posted on Jul 28, 2017

PLASTIC GIRLS has been selected as a VIMEO STAFF PICK. This totals 6 Staff Picks during the past 6 VIMEO years! So far VIMEO has been an amazing platform and I am truly thankful for all their support. Also I would like to thank everyone, who has been actively supporting me as a filmmaker. All those collaborations throughout the years have been very inspirational and taught me a hell of a lot. A big shout-out to everyone involved!

PLASTIC GIRLS. A short documentary

Posted on Jul 26, 2017

Following BIKINI WORDS and LAST LETTERS, PLASTIC GIRLS is the last part of a Korea based trilogy with a strong focus on issues relating to space and architecture.

I not only feel that PLASTIC GIRLS complements both BIKINI WORDS and LAST LETTERS well within the trilogy, but it also stands out as a film on it’s own due to its unique subject matter and a thoughtful audio visual approach. Ranging between documentary and fiction, it addresses gender issues through a unique document that illustrates one aspect of the sexualisation of public space.

Differences in gender equality between South Korea and other places in the West are significant. Since I moved to Korea in late 2005, I have been confronted with those disparities in my day to day life. But as a foreigner, how do we and how should we address our concerns about something we personally disagree with? The longer I lived away from home, the more I started to really understand that the way a society is structured, is deeply rooted within its culture and history. In a way this is obvious. But still, as an expat it is easy to drift away from the culture you once decided to live in after encountering elements of the host country’s way of life that you find disagreeable. This insight can stop one from bashing the culture and instead lead one to be more accepting of the way society shapes people’s lives. But then by the same token, what kind of criticism can you possibly engage yourself in, if you live in a society, which is so different from your own and possibly conflicts with your beliefs?

PLASTIC GIRLS is not a film that intends to be offensive towards South Korean society or make it look like gender inequality is an issue only with regard to this nation. Despite references to Korean society and culture, I want to make more of a general statement regarding gender inequality. The sexualization of public space, which is the focus of the film, I believe, illustrates a more global tendency, which in general should be of concern. By choosing plastic mannequins as the very peculiar main subjects of the film, I intend to make the audience feel uncomfortable, but also give them enough room to reflect on the sexualisation of public space on a conceptional level rather than specifically within the context of South Korean society. It is my intention to create a certain awkwardness without being directly offensive towards anybody or by utilising national stereotypes. Even though this film is shot in Korea and references various distinct Korean public spaces, I really hope that this film speaks to an international audience and not only makes us look at gender misbalances in Korea, but allows us to reflect on how the culture produces a certain view of women in general and how we think about an on-going trend regarding a sexualisation of public space.

Thank you very much for your interest in this film!