Busan International Film Festival
Actors and filmmakers Steven Yeun, John Cho, Justin Chon And Lee Isaac Chung shared their thoughts on the appeal of Korean diaspora cinema – as well as how they view the current wave of content from Korea – during a philosophical but relaxed press conference at Busan International Film Festival.
Lee, who directed an Oscar-winning Korean immigration story Minari, said he was amazed by the reaction the film received each time it was shown, because “people from all walks of life wanted to talk about their own experiences, people who had never emigrated, but who had moved to a new place and found it’s stressful. I wonder if the immigrant story is simply about many experiences.
Chon, an actor-director whose Jamojaya is screening at the festival, said: “It’s just an interesting dramatic situation – being in transition and also an underdog story. It was there to tell immigrant stories, and it makes sense that people would be interested in those lives.
Minari Star Yeun added, “We feel like we’re living in a conscious reality where the systems don’t work for anyone. Many structures are collapsing and, to move forward, we need this ability to start from scratch. I think that’s the immigrant mentality that we’re all heading into.
Busan offers a special program dedicated to Korean diaspora cinema, which screens six films and organizes a series of press conferences and public discussions.
When asked how Korean American audiences perceive the current wave of Korean films and series, Yeun described watching this content as “profound healing for the diaspora.”
“Even looking at something like Physics: 100 — the way we are redefining the imagery of ourselves and watching it come from our homeland is really exciting,” Yeun said, referring to the Netflix Korea reality show. “We hope that the artwork we release will do the same for Korea.”
Chon agrees that K-wave is having a positive impact: “What’s amazing to me as a Korean American is that now my white counterparts finally have something they can relate to. Americans consume so many things that provide insight into what our culture and education could be. This wasn’t the case when I was young.
When asked about the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, Yeun described it as “a righteous act to ensure that we protect artists, actors and writers – we live in a world driven by commerce and sometimes Money gets in the way of understanding the strike. life of individuals. Many people do not have guarantees or the capacity to weather the storms linked to the evolution of the sector.
Cho, who has Columbus And Research in Busan, spoke about the potential impact of AI on the industry: “What we are seeing in the entertainment industry is an echo of many other industries where automation has put people out of work.
“For me, the goal of going to see a film is to see people performing a human drama and to have an experience with an audience watching human expression. Behind the scenes, if we start eliminating people, then the art form is going to suffer.”
Busan International Film Festival will take place from October 4 to 13. The six films screened as part of the special Focus: Cinema of the Korean Diaspora program include Minari, Jamojaya, Burning, Columbus, Research And Past lives.