BASEBALL HARMONY, 49min., USA
Directed by Joo-il Gwak, Amy Hutchinson
Did you ever hear of a 9-year-old boy making a choice to become an orphan? This describes Kim, Young-do. Even his last name is borrowed from the owner of the childcare center where he was an orphan. However, he was never discouraged. Harmony in baseball? Yes. Kim Young-do's sense of humor, striking good looks, role as the team's lead hitter and baseball manager, and his unique background as an Afro-Korean-American, eventually all come together in perfect harmony.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I was born and lived in South Korea, a homogeneous country, for over 20 years, and was very shocked when I later lived in the United States as a Korean American. I learned this after experiencing discrimination that I had never experienced in Korea. I If I'm having this hard time, how much pain must it have been for other people? I couldn't stop thinking about this. Because I am well aware of Korea's modern history, I could guess the pain that Mr. Kim Young-do must have experienced. I also got an idea of the life of Kim Young-do, who cannot speak English, in the United States. So I started interviewing him for my doctoral thesis, and the more I learned about his story, the more I thought it would be nice to make it more than a thesis so that more people would see it. The covid-19 period was a great life opportunity for me. It was an opportunity to produce a documentary while taking care of my family in South Korea. While going to Korea and giving online lectures, I was able to complete the stories by meeting Kim Young-do's students and friends. And I persuaded Mr. Kim Young-do.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you
to make this film?
It was May 2018 when I met Youngdo Kim and began interviewing him for my thesis. In May 2021, I went to Korea and met with Kim Young-do's friends and students to collect stories and create storyboards. Photographed by Kim Young-do upon entering Korea in September 2022. Completed after editing and music work by May 2023. It took 5 years.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Wandering mixed-race Korean-black baseball player in South Korea.
A first-generation immigrant father who abandoned his past glory in the USA.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The time I spent waiting and persuading Mr. Kim Young-do to film a documentary in South Korea.
The time spent trying to make Kim Young-do understand that he was uncomfortable with the camera during filming.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking
about your film in the feedback video?
I shed tears out of gratitude to the audience who understood and empathized with the production's intention.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
From the first time I met Mr. Kim Young-do. He is a very special Afro-Korean-American.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Bong Joon-ho's Parasite and Park Chan-wook's Decision to Leave. Not just a movie but also film art.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other
festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking
Beautiful Audience REACTION!!!
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your
experiences been working on the festival platform site?
I'm so glad I have this platform. Because I don't have to search for good film festivals one by one.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Multicultural food with my own recipe. Pasta made with kimchi stir-fried in butter and grilled salmon marinated in Korean soy sauce.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
The next documentary is the story of Korean grandmothers' dreams and the reality of their failure to come true. It may be hard to believe, but the stories of grandmothers around the world are very similar.