Jang Kun-jae is a Korean independent filmmaker. In 2009 he took on his own story with his feature directorial debut, Eighteen (2009); which won the Dragons and Tigers Award at Vancouver International Film Festival 2009, the Nuovo Cinema Award at Pesaro Film Festival 2010, and was in official selection at Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires and more than 15 other international film festivals. His second feature, Sleepless Night (2012), a semi-autobiographical story about his married life, was released in over twenty countries, as well as receiving prizes and awards at Jeonju International Film Festival 2012, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012, and Nantes Festival des 3 Continents 2012. His third feature, A Midsummer’s Fantasia (2014), co-produced with Japanese filmmaker Kawase Naomi, was an indie hit in Korea in the summer of 2015, gathering an audience of more than 36,000; an extraordinary achievement for an independent film. The film has been hailed as ‘one of the most accomplished in modern Korean cinema’, and various film critics, journalists, film associations and cinema audiences ranked the film as one of the top 10 films of 2015.
LEE Eun-kyoung, FUJIOKA Miwako
Lee Eun-kyoung started her career as an assistant director in film production in 1992 and has since been involved in many film productions. In 2001 she became a researcher in charge of Japan at the Seoul office of Busan Film Commission, while also working as a correspondent for KOFIC and Cine21. She then moved to Japan and worked in the International Department of Kadokawa Corporation, handling Korean films from 2005 to 2008. After returning to Korea, she established ZOA FILMS in 2011 and began acquiring the adaptation rights for foreign films and books. She also strives to make films that are accessible to people with visual and auditory impairments.
Fujioka Miwako started her career at Warner Bros. Television in Tokyo in 1995. She then moved to Happinet Corporation in 2003, where she worked for the International Department as a film buyer and acquired films such as The Beat That My Heart Skipped (Jacques Audiard, 2005) and I′m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007). She also coordinated investments in The Host (Bong Joonho, 2006), 3-Iron (Kim Ki-duk, 2004), The Bow (Kim Ki-duk, 2005) and Time (Kim Ki-duk, 2006), and co-produced the music documentary film The Last Applause (German Kral, 2009), which won the Starter Film Prize 2009 awarded by the City of Munich, Germany. In 2015 she quit Happinet and became independent, and since then has been working with Lee Eun-kyoung helping her co-produce films with Japan.
ZOA FILMS was founded in Seoul Korea by Lee Eun-kyoung in 2011, and has produced seven films so far, including Korea-Japan co-production AV Idol (Jojo Hideo, 2012), A Record of Sweet Murder (Shiraisi Koji, 2014), Butterfly Sleep (Jeong Jae-eun, 2017) and Memories of a Dead End (Choi Hyun-young, 2018). The last three films ZOA produced, Notebook from My Mother (Kim Sung-ho, 2018), Memories of a Dead End (Choi Hyun-young, 2018) and Butterfly Sleep (Jeong Jae-eun, 2017), were all selected for official screening at Busan International Film Festival and enjoyed world premieres there. ZOA′S aim is to produce films with global appeal and to co-produce films with other countries.
Yu-ra and Ji-hwan meet working part-time at a pub, and they are also students at the same university. They get along well because of their similar backgrounds. Yu-ra’s parents own a restaurant and Ji-hwan’s parents own a cake shop, and both are thinking of taking over the family business. One evening, Ji-hwan invites Yu-ra for dinner at his apartment. He says that he has decided to go to France to learn cake-making. He also tells her that the ghosts of an elderly couple, the previous residents who died in an accident, still live in his place. The ghosts are calm and it seems they don’t know they’re dead. ‘Unexpectedly’, they fall in love that evening and sleep together. Two weeks before Ji-hwan’s departure, Yu-ra visits his place and together they cook the ghosts’ favorite dish. Yu-ra and Ji-hwan offer the dish and pray for the ghosts to rest in peace. They love each other, but they decide to end their relationship. Eight years later they happen to meet again in a café. Ji-hwan has returned home to help his father. Yu-ra is already working at her parents’ restaurant. They both feel they are still irrevocably tied to one another. One week later, Ji-hwan phones Yu-ra and asks her to marry him. Yu-ra accepts his proposal without hesitation.