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Two Neighbors Form an Unlikely Friendship Across Generations in ‘Kotchebi’

"Mi Young’s silence is a metaphor for the fact that North Korean human rights are still not spoken about enough."

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Logline: “Kotchebi” is about a friendship between a mysterious young girl and a bereaved old man. On the surface they have nothing in common apart from inhabiting different sides of a semi-detached house on a very ordinary suburban street.

Elevator Pitch:

“Kotchebi” translates as “wandering swallow” – North Korean slang for the orphans who roam the streets searching for food.

The film follows an unlikely friendship between a mysterious young girl and a bereaved old man. On the surface, they have nothing in common, other than living on opposite sides of the same semi-detached house.

Mi Young is a North Korean refugee who doesn’t speak, and Ted is a Korean War veteran. Both are traumatised by memories of extreme violence and burdened with guilt. Despite the language barrier, they form a deep emotional connection, finding redemption and healing in each other.

Production Team:

Writer & Director, In-Sook Chappell – Born in South Korea and raised in England, In-Sook’s first play “This Isn’t Romance” (Soho Theatre) was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and commissioned as a screenplay by Film4. Her most recent play, “P’yongyang,” had a sell-out run at the Finborough Theatre, with 4-star reviews from the Guardian, Times and Evening Standard (amongst others) – and she is currently writing for the Royal Exchange Theatre and National Theatre.

Producer, Ameenah Ayub Allen – An award-winning producer with over ten years experience in the British film industry, Ameenah’s credits include the BIFA nominated short film “The Road Home.” Senior production credits include Clio Barnard’s BAFTA-nominated feature “The Selfish Giant” and Film4/Sony Pictures’ “Brick Lane.” In 2014 she set up Bright Wire Films with Meg Clark and they have several diverse features in development.

Cinematographer, Craig Dean Devine – Craig studied cinematography under Brian Tufano (“Trainspotting,” “Billy Elliot”) and Lol Crawley BSC (“Ballast,” “Four Lions”) at the National Film and Television School. On graduation, he won the Panalux Cinematography Award for his work on The Friday Fund. Craig shot Aleem Khan’s BAFTA-nominated short film “Three Brothers” and was recently profiled by the British Cinematographers Society magazine as “One To Watch.”

Executive Producer, Marc Boothe – Marc is the founder and creative director of B3 Media: a London based creative arts network that helps Black and Minority Ethnic artists tell their stories through digital film, visual arts, new media and spoken word. He produces Talentlab, a successful talent development incubator. He is also the recipient of a NESTA Fellowship award (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and finalist for the Genesis Prize (2012) which recognises outstanding mentors of young artistic talent and a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) voting member).

About the Film:

“I am passionate about telling this story because it hasn’t been told. Mi Young’s silence is a metaphor for the fact that North Korean human rights are still not spoken about enough. On a personal note, I relate strongly to Mi Young because I was a Korean orphan who arrived as a young child in this country in only the clothes I stood up in. Much of what Mi Young has experienced: loss of family, home, country, being forced to witness torture and killing has also been experienced by Syrian children and other refugees.” – In-Sook Chappell

Current Status: We need to raise the remaining $2,875 to produce the short. We’ve crowdfunded $12.8k. We need to raise $16k in two weeks.

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