By Indiewire | Indiewire September 9, 2006 at 9:10AM
Every day through the end of the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, indieWIRE will be publishing interviews with filmmakers in the Discovery section of the festival, which TIFF describes as "provocative feature films by new and emerging directors."
Nineteen filmmakers were given the opportunity to participate in an e-mail interview, and each was sent the same questions. Director Kim Tae-yong is at Toronto with his feature film, "Family Ties." "Ties" follows Mira, a shy woman whose life consists of running a restaurant and taking care of her plants. But when her brother and his new wife show up after a five-year absence, Mira's life is thrown into chaos.
How old are you? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
I was born in Seoul on December 9, 1969, and have lived in Seoul ever since.
What were the circumstances that lead you to become a filmmaker?
I used to enjoy watching my friends work on films, which somehow this made me become a filmmaker.
What other creative outlets do you explore?
I have directed theater plays. One was called"Fascination." I would like to do theater again, whenever possible.
Did you go to film school? Or how did you learn about filmmaking?
I graduated Yonsei University with degree in Political Science, and then I went to Korean Academy of Film Arts, majoring in film direction.
What are your goals for the Toronto International Film Festival?
I am curious to see the reaction of a foreign audience - whether they would laugh or not at certain scenes.
How/where did the initial idea for your film come from?
I heard a story from a radio program one day. The lady who sent her story to the radio station lived together with a brother who got married. The bother couple adopted a child, but after the brother was killed in an accident, the lady and her sister-in-law raised the child together. I was wondering if they lived happily, and what if the child grew up and brought a future spouse home, and etc - thats how I got the idea for the film.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in either developing the project or making and securing distribution for the movie?
Well, I had difficulty in getting investment. And when the film was released, there were many big titles, so it was hard to secure screens. And as there were many main characters, it was a bit hard to schedule the shooting.
How did you finance the film?
I think you should ask my production company for that [laughs]. The finance was taken care of by the licensor.
What are your biggest creative influences?
Rather than filmmakers or films, I was and am inspired by Korean literatures.
What is your definition of independent film?
Well, I think, it is a liberal imagination.
What are some of your favorite films?
I like "Kes" by Ken Loach. I loved the director's warm but, at the same time, cool view on the world.
What are your interests outside of film?
Theater and music.
Can you tell us a bit about your next projects?
I am preparing several stories, but I think my next project will be about a family, too.
[Get the latest from the Toronto International Film Festival throughout the day in indieWIRE's special Toronto '06 section.]