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Documentary ㅣ Work In Progress

My Missing Aunt

YANG Juyeon
Korea 76min 2K Color/B&W Documentary
Production StatusPost-Production
Goal of ParticipationFinancing, World Sales, Film Festival Screening
Production budget243,145,750 KRW
Budget Required34,841,150 KRW
Secured budget Korean Film Council[Production Fund] : 20,000,000 KRW · JEONJU International Film Festival[JEONJU Cinema Fund First Fund Grant] : 5,000,000 KRW · Busan International Film Festival[Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund] : 10,000,000 KRW · Gwangju Information and Culture Industry Promotion Agency[Production Fund] : 20,000,000 KRW · EBS International Documentary Festival[H!-Docs Pitch] : 30,000,000 KRW · Gyeonggi Content Agency[Investment] : 30,000,000 KRW · DMZ Docs Industry[Production Fund] : 17,000,000 · Hot Docs Cross Currents Fund[Production Fund] : 19,181,600 KRW · Korea Radio Promotion Association[In-kind Support] : 13,123,000 KRW · Korea Communications Agency[Production Fund, In-kind Support] : 9,000,000 KRW · Korea Creative Content Agency[In-kind Support] : 5,000,000 KRW · Keumyoil Film (Self-investment)[-] : 30,000,000 KRW
LOGLINE

I happened to learn about my aunt who killed herself 40 years ago. Through a journey of understanding her choice, she questions the role of women in Korean society and family.

SYNOPSIS

I was afraid of becoming like my aunt. Born to the Yang family as the eldest daughter, I was called ‘older sister’ more than by my own name in my childhood. As natural as my younger brother being in the center of the family, I kept thinking there was no place for me in my family. The night before my college graduation day, my dad was drunk and told me that he once had a sister and I learned about her who disappeared 40 years ago. Why did my aunt take her own life a day before her college graduation? the story of his sister who took her own life. After I discovered photos of her that my grandmother left, I decided to make a film about her to fight off the fear. My journey to find my aunt is portrayed through live-action and animation. I create her lost time in the animation, and I come face to face with her. And through my father's trauma, I realize how ‘women committing suicide’ are stigmatized in Korean society until now. Would I be able to cut this wrongful brand that lingers through generations and create a new time for my family? This is not just to find her place in the past, but also to find my own, which has been put aside in this family.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

When I say that I have an aunt that I don’t even know her face or name, they often tell me that they too have similar stories of their aunts. Although the fact that my aunt was not the only one whose existence has never had a chance to be talked about in this world gave me a small comfort. But at the same time, I always wondered why those tragic protagonists of family secrets had to be women in many cases. I wanted to tell them that the causes of the tragedies were never their fault. Since her death, even after 40 years, discrimination against someone born as a woman still exists in the patriarchy. It just became harder to explain. The discrimination has become something ‘private’ that is trivial and to be unrevealed, something petty and shameful to talk about. My Missing Aunt is a project to reveal a story that has never been revealed. Telling the forgotten life and death of my aunt is my attempt to break the cycle of tragedy.

INTERVIEW
What inspired you to start this project?
The night before I graduated from university, I got a call from my father and first learned that I had an aunt. My Missing Aunt is a documentary film that questions a woman’s position in a family on a quest to get to know the aunt, who was a family secret.
Is there any scene or emotion you want the audience to remember after watching this movie?
While making this film, I often heard that not only my family, but other families had family secrets as well. I hope that this film will give people a chance to talk about things that haven’t been talked about before.
DIRECTOR
YANG Juyeon
Interested in the way how women are portrayed in Korean society and the memories that have not become history. The Trail of Grandma's Home (2015), a short documentary about her grandmother’s memory of May 1980 won the Grand Prize in the Korean Competition section at the 13th Asiana Intl. Short FF. Her first feature documentary My Missing Aunt was selected for Hot Docs Cross Currents Fund for the first time in Korea and also selected for IDFAcademy.
The Trail of Grandma's Home (2015), Loop Dreams (2019), 40 (2020)
PRODUCER
KO Duhyun
His first feature documentary Burmese on the Roof (2016) was screened at the Wide Angle at the Busan IFF. His next feature documentary Loop Dreams (2019) was released in January 2021 in Korea. Currently, he is working on My Missing Aunt as a producer, and The Eyeglasses as a director. He participated in IDFAcademy 2019 and 2022 DokIncubator 2022 as a producer.
Burmese on the Roof (2016), Loop Dreams (2019), 40 (2020)
Sarah KANG
Participated as a producer of Behind the Dark Night, a feature film that won the Best Film in the Korean Fantastic Feature Film section at BIFAN. Her first feature documentary Queer My Friends was screened at Hot Docs Canadian Intl. Documentary Festival, waiting to be released in Korea. Ayena/Mirror won the best film at the Oslo IFF, and screened at the Intl Documentary FF Munich, Vilnius IFF. She was selected to attend IDFAcademy, Eurococ, and DOK Incubator.
Behind the Dark Night (2017), Ayena/Mirror (2022), Queer My Friends (2022)
CONTACTmymissingaunt@gmail.com
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