7-10 OCTOBER 2023
Asian Project Market

2023 Project

Morning Star Director KANG Yi Kwan Country/Region Korea
  • Producer PARK Jooyoung
  • Production Company SOLAR PICTURES
  • Writer KANG Yi Kwan
  • Shooting Format HD  |  color  |  120min
  • Genre Drama
  • Project Status Financing
  • Goals at APM Financing
  • Total Budget USD 1,000,000
  • Financing in Place -


A drama about the adventures and misfortunes of Sang-wook, who struggles to overcome infertility and have a child, and Sang-wook′s grandfather, Sun-kyu, who longs to meet the son he left behind in North Korea, now a grown man.


Sang-wook (41), a robotics venture entrepreneur, decides to give up his house and move in with his grandfather, after his wife So-young′s fifth in vitro fertilization procedure fails, and he loses money on his investments. When Sang-wook visits his grandfather′s house, Sun-kyu (94) has received a letter from his second son, Nam-ho, which came from North Korea via the United States. Still now, Sun-kyu is obsessed with the desire to see Nam-ho, and asks his family for help, but they all oppose the idea of attempting to meet him.
After much argument, Sang-wook eventually agrees that they will try to meet Nam-ho in China and sets off for Yanji with Sun-kyu. However, things go wrong when they run into Yeong-cheol and Yeong-ok, a brother and sister who have defected from North Korea, and are forced to return home without meeting Nam-ho.
Sun-kyu is hospitalized due to an injury sustained in China, and Sang-wook and So-yeong try IVF treatment one more time, but fail yet again. Meanwhile, Yeong-cheol, who has now successfully entered South Korea, wants to apologize to Sun-kyu, and Sang-wook agrees to meet him. Sang-wook and Soon-kyu forgive Yeong-cheol, who sincerely apologizes.
However, Sang-wook′s actions in bringing Yeong-cheol and Sun-kyu together have unexpected consequences. Yeong-cheol, now wants to return to North Korea, and together with Sun-kyu, who has decided likewise, they recklessly attempt to defect, but are arrested by the Coast Guard. To make matters worse, Sang-wook is beaten by gangsters because he owes them money, and So-young′s depression deepens. Plus, Sang-wook discovers that he suffers from a panic disorder.
Taking a step back and trying to look at himself objectively, Sang-wook decides it’s time for some changes. He is able to outsmart the moneylenders using land he inherited from Sun-kyu, talks with So-yeong about their fertility problems, and determines to help Sun-kyu defect to North Korea.

Director's Statement

There are no aliens in our observable universe. Perhaps they are somewhere, but unless they come to us, we currently have no prospects of encountering aliens for ourselves. Humanity - unique and alone in the universe. Humanity. We are unique in that we can love others more than we love ourselves.
A man first receives love from his parents and then dies giving love to others. One who desperately wants to have a child and one who yearns to find a child who is now grown into adulthood; one because of infertility, the other because of division; forever carrying their children. I wanted to tell a story about people who have been unable to have children and people who have lost contact with their children, and how they can help each other find what they are searching for. Through the story of a Korean family and the hardships they face, I hope it will be an opportunity to think about what it means to be human and to love.

Producer's Statement

I′ve researched box office hits among low-to-mid-budget movies: 6/45 (Park Gyu-tae, 2022), with an audience of 1.98 million moviegoers, dealt with division; I Can Speak (Kim Hyun-suk, 2017), with an audience of 3.28 million, dealt with Japanese Military Sexual Slavery; Samjin Company English Class (Lee Jong-pil, 2020), with 1.39 million, dealt with environmental pollution; and Kim Ji-young: Born 1982 (Kim Do-young, 2019), with 3 million, dealt with gender discrimination. What these movies all have in common is their combination of social issues and human drama. Morning Star explores the problem of division and is a human drama, and the lead characters reveal a comic side in their desperation. If we can blend together these components properly, Morning Star will be a hugely popular film.

Director's Profile


Sa-kwa (2005) won the Montblanc Award for Best New Screenwriter at San Sebastian International Film Festival 2005, and the FIPRESCI International Critics′ Award at Toronto International Film Festival 2005.
Juvenile Offender (2012), was also invited to leading film festivals, such as Toronto Film Festival 2012. In particular, Roger Corman, chairman of the jury at Tokyo International Film Festival 2012, called it the "discovery of the year" and awarded the film Special Jury and Best Actor awards. Subsequently, the film won Best Picture and Best Actor awards at Cinemanila International Film Festival 2012. The film was also selected as the Korean entry in the foreign language film category at the Academy Awards 2013. Virus (tentative title), starring Kim Yoonseok and Bae Doona, is preparing for release in the second half of 2023.

Producer's Profile


Park Jooyoung worked in planning, production management, and investment at film companies Cine2000, Cheongeoram, and Cinema Service, and was the producer of The Aggressives (Jeong Jae-eun, 2005). She also founded Solar Pictures, produced Juvenile Offender (Kang Yi Kwan, 2012), and co-produced Kang Yi Kwan’s current project, Virus (tentative title).

Production company, Solar Pictures, aims for commercial success with a new and well-made story. Founded in 2011, as Movie Company Namwon, predecessor to Solar Pictures, the company produced Juvenile Offender (Kang Yi Kwan, 2012), and short film Two of Us (Kang Yi Kwan, 2018), and co-produced Kang Yi Kwan’s current project, Virus (tentative title).