7-10 OCTOBER 2023
Asian Project Market

2023 Project

The Road to Elysium Director LIM Sun-ae Country/Region Korea
  • Producer KANG Jiyoun
  • Production Company SEESUN PICTURES CO.,LTD
  • Writer LIM Sun-ae
  • Shooting Format HD  |  color  |  100min
  • Genre Drama, Suspense, Romance
  • Project Status Script Development
  • Goals at APM Financing
  • Total Budget USD 78,000
  • Financing in Place -


Srey Na, a female immigrant from Cambodia, who killed her Korean husband in self-defense, is released on a special pardon for being a model prisoner. On the day she is supposed to be extradited to her home country, she escapes from the airport and heads to a temple in Haenam to meet someone hiding there.


Srey Na (24 years old, Cambodian), who killed her Korean husband (Ki-cheol, 44 years old) in self-defense during an incident of domestic violence, is released on parole after serving two years of imprisonment, thanks to a special amnesty in celebration of Buddha’s Birthday. On the day she is supposed to be extradited to her home country, Srey suddenly changes her mind and escapes from the airport, boarding an express bus to Haenam.
Upon arrival in Haenam, Srey goes to a temple, specifically to the office of the temple stay. Finding no one there, she lies down on a low wooden bench in the backyard, perhaps due to exhaustion from the accumulated stress and tension. Startled by a shadow that falls over her face, she opens her eyes. There stands a young man, named Seon-O (21 years old), with a calm and clear expression. Though his face is right in front of her nose, rather than being shocked, Srey looks pleased and excited. Seon-O looks delighted, too. As their lips are about to meet, a sudden loud noise makes both stand up in alarm. However Seon-O was surprised by Srey’s reaction, not the sound itself, because Seon-O is deaf. An elderly woman with grey hair (Hye-soon, 63 years old), the cause of the noise, appears before the two, revealing herself as Srey’s mother-in-law (Ki-cheol’s mother). Beneath her rough, trembling, old hands, a watermelon lies smashed upon the ground, its red flesh exposed. For some time, Hye-soon stands there, alternately looking at Srey and Seon-O, with an expression that is difficult to read – anger, resignation, fear?
Who on earth is Seon-O and why has Srey come here?

Director's Statement

Articles about human rights abuses involving Southeast Asian women who have immigrated to Korea through international marriages are still common. However, perhaps the sympathetic and compassionate portrayal of these immigrant women in the media is not always appropriate and could even be dangerous, because just like ourselves, they are ordinary people who want to live according to their own self-interests?
The film is a story of one person’s struggle to protect her way of life and keep hold of the love she desires.

Producer's Statement

The Road to Elysium, set against the backdrop of a temple in Haenam, involves Buddhist elements but is not a religious film. The more significant story revolves around characters who suffer from different forms of pain, and questions about why they have come to this place. The film aims to candidly depict the truth of human nature, of tumultuous hearts even amidst silence and tranquility. If the film proves successful in touching audiences with its authenticity, it will offer a cathartic experience of solace and comfort.

Director's Profile


After graduating from the Department of Advertising and Multimedia Design at Hongik University, Lim Sun-ae majored in screenplay writing, a professional course at Korea National University of Arts. After working as a storyboard artist and screenwriter, her first feature film, An Old Lady (2019), was invited to numerous domestic and international film festivals, winning the New Currents Competition KNN Audience Award at Busan International Film Festival 2019, Director of the Year at the Women in Film Korea Festival 2020, and the Park Nam-ok Award at Seoul International Women′s Film Festival 2020.

Producer's Profile


As a publicist and marketing director who promotes films, Kang Jiyoun promoted My Boss, My Hero (Youn Je-kyun, 2001), Mr. Handy (aka Hong Ban-jang) (Kang Suk-bum, 2004), and Dancing Princess (Park Younghoon, 2005). In 2017, she planned and produced I Can Speak (Kim Hyun-suk, 2017), which attracted a domestic audience of 3.2 million. Currently, she is working on planned works including The Road to Elysium, Human and Her in Space.