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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.
Three different characters on a journey through the rugged beauty of the Himalayan landscape in and around the town of Leh. As their paths cross we are shown how technology and tradition go hand in hand in this remote part of the world.
CONTENTED is very excited to get the opportunity to work on this project both in terms of working in India and with a big brand like Samsung. None of us had been to India before. Ladakh may not be the India that comes immediately to mind for most people, but it was an extremely evocative place all the same with so much to fascinate and inspire us.
First we had to shake the altitude sickness and figure out how to walk up a flight of stairs without being completely out of breath. After that we could easily see what makes Ladakh and the town of Leh such a popular starting point for visitors who want to explore the Himalayas.
As well as the simple storylines that we had outlined beforehand, we were very keen to capitalise on the character and flavour of the place. We were ably assisted in this by teaming up with an experienced local support team. They pointed us in the right direction and shared some of the many secrets of their home town with us.
We wanted to show in a subtle way how Samsung has a presence even in the most remote communities around the world and how that presence can co-exist without having an adverse effect on the local culture and way of life.
We hope we have succeeded and that you enjoy our film.
The territorial dispute between Japan and Korea over the ownership of the Dokdo/Takeshima islets is not limited to state to state relations. In both countries there are citizens’ groups actively engaged in protesting, lobbying and educating the public. This Island is Ours follows a Korean kindergarten caretaker with a background in student activism and a recently widowed Japanese housewife as they campaign tirelessly for the soveignty of the tiny islets that are currently controlled by Korea, but also claimed by Japan. This film creates a rare insight into the lives of the two activists on both sides by presenting their parallel experiences from a neutral point of view.
This documentary results from collaboration between Seoul based filmmaker Nils Clauss and Wellington based Alexander Bukh, a scholar of international relations of Northeast Asia.
As a winner BIKINI WORDS will now be screened at proceeding Lift-Off global film festival events in Tokyo (in April), Las Vegas (June), Vancouver (August), Los Angeles (September), Amsterdam (October), Singapore (Late October), Sydney (November), and London (December).
BIKINI WORDS takes a look at new linguistic developments among factory workers during the industrial expansion of Korea in the 1970s and 80s.
BIKINI WORDS was selected out of 1300+ global entrants, to screen at the prestigious Liverpool Lift-Off Film Festival, the only fully accredited film festival in the city.
At the event all of the films will be scored by the attending audience, where the winners are potentially screened at the ten proceeding Lift-Off global events. Lift-Off currently has festivals in London, Liverpool, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong and Amsterdam.
James Bradley Co-Director and Co-Founder of Lift-Off says…
“Getting into any Lift-Off Film Festival is a massive achievement. The world of independent film has grown so much over the years that many of the grass rooted filmmakers and emerging professionals are left without much of a platform. We felt that many of these artists who were producing exceptional work were being hugely ignored – and deserved to be seen! Our judges are rigorous and we are quickly building a reputation of finding true undiscovered talent.“
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.
The film will be screened on Thursday 3rd March 2016 from 9:00 to 10:30pm at Small Cinema Liverpool (57-59 Victoria Street, Liverpool, L1 6DE) within the Shorts Programme 1 (Evening of Shorts).
Ticket can be purchased Lift-Off Tickets.
GREAT NEWS! BIKINI WORDS has been selected as a VIMEO STAFF PICK. This totals 5 Staff Picks during the past 5 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!