$25,000 and a tour of Amazon Studios will go to the filmmaking team behind Mr. & Mrs. Kim. Amazon Studios announced on Tuesday that the 15-minute short has won the first All Voices Film Festival, a short-film competition for U.S. filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds.
Mr. & Mrs. Kim was originally released in 2016 as director Jaehuen Chung’s American Film Institute thesis film. It follows a first-generation Korean American boy who, embarrassed by his parents’ careers, invents a wild story that they are North Korean spies.
Chung, who was a very imaginative child himself, wanted to explore childhood daydreams.
“I was and still am very much a daydreamer,” Chung said in a 2017 interview with Northwest Asian Weekly. “I went to a Christian high school, where we would have a service once a week. I would sit in the very back row imagining aliens flying into our gym and me unveiling my ‘Super Saiyan’ power to shoot off ki blasts and defeat them. The imagery was very vivid and clear, at least in my head. When the time came to make a thesis, I wanted to expand on this idea of projecting one’s imagination onto the very space he is in.”
Mr. & Mrs. Kim stars Joshua Kim, Steve Park, Alexandra Chun and Lola Wayne Villa. The film went on a festival run around the world before being submitted as a contender for Amazon’s festival.
When the All Voices Festival launch was announced in April, Variety reported that a panel of judges from Amazon Studios, Prime Video and IMDb festival winner would select the winner out of the top-performing titles based on customer engagement. Submissions needed to be created by or feature people from marginalized communities.
“At Amazon Studios, we are looking for passionate storytellers who reflect and represent all backgrounds, specifically so that we can share their experiences and stories,” said Latasha Gillespie, head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Amazon Studios. “We created this opportunity because we wanted a way for underrepresented voices to be heard.”
The four runner-ups will receive $10,000. They are South of Sunset Fake Mexicans, Monday, Thriving with Cerebral Palsy: The Cordell Brown Story and The Critic. Each of these films, along with Mr. & Mrs. Kim, will be featured on Prime Video.
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