A gesture of the everyday life for some, is without a big meaning, but for others, constitutes a promise, a declaration.
Interview with Director Gaëlle François
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I am a Kiss was my first short movie. To take the plunge and shoot one of my stories I needed a guideline, so when I saw the announcement for the Nikon Film Festival in my mail box, I thought it was the perfect occasion to try. I had a subject which was “I am a gesture” and a duration limit of 2 minutes and 20 seconds. At that time, I was newly-graduated with a bachelor's degree in performing art in France, and was in Korea for 1 year (at that time I was just thinking about staying one year to learn the language and more about Korean movies, then come back to France for my masters degree). I wanted to keep a connection with movies and this project was a chance to do so.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
First, it’s funny! It talks about cultural differences or stress at work with a skewed look. What it seems to be is not what it is. Secondly, it’s really short. If you’re not sure that you want to watch it, just think it won’t take you too long, just a few minutes.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I wanted to talk about cultural differences but in a funny, soft way. Every French person may have encountered a similar situation coming in Korea or Japan, for example. “I am a Kiss” talks about a very simple, current quid pro quo. It is also based on a personal memory.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
As I said there was a subject “I am a gesture”, and since I was in Korea, I thought there was something to explore about cultural differences. Gestures can be really codified and when I first came in Korea I paid a particular attention on those gestures so as not to make the error of impoliteness and integrate myself faster to this new culture.
Then, the idea of the movie came from experience. At that time, I had arrived in Korea recently, and one day while I was going back home I met a Korean friend. We happened to get along well and had become rather close. So, to say hello to him, I advanced on him to give him a kiss, and as I approached him, I saw his eyes becoming round with surprise! I guess he wondered what I was about to do. Quite embarrassed, I stopped clear and bowed 90 degrees. There is no need for this between friends. So I started working on the script, keeping this memory in mind. But I suppose the movie really became what it is now thanks to my productor, Bahng Soo-in. She helped me find the actor, the editor, and asked me so much questions after reading the scenario. This is how the project of the movie became more than just an idea and got a touch of professionalism. Movies are also about meeting the right person at the right moment.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Until now I haven’t received a lot of feedback, so it is not an easy question, and people usually comment about the nice parts more than the bad ones. Not bad for “I am Kiss”. Even pretty good, if I say so myself. People usually laugh during the screening, and they react well to the film. Even one of my classmates told me he hoped making something like it since it was this kind of story he was trying to write.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
About I am a Kiss, I was surprised because I know the camera and sound quality are not professional, but it seems people didn’t pay so much attention to that. They enjoyed the movie just for the simplicity of the story and the message. Oh, and it was funny to hear some Koreans asking if it was also about homosexuality.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I hope I will attain more visibility for my movies and it will encourage me to keep going on.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I suppose I need all of them. I am really only at the beginning and don’t know a lot of poeple. That is also why I am so grateful to the Jejudo French Film Festival (and now to you) to give me a chance to show my work.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I hope I can give an other point of view, another perspective on everyday life experiences. Show people that these are things that are with them/just in front of them, but they don’t pay much attention to.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
As a foreigner, what cultural differences do we experience going into another country?
Would you like to add anything else?
Films are a team project and that is why I just wanted to thanks all the people who helped make them and those who have supported me until now. I really hope I will be able to work again with some of them.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I am currently working on the script of a short movie. This time I want to make it a little longer. I am working on the theme of loneliness. I usually appreciate it but, coming to Korea, being far from my family and my country, I experienced a new kind of loneliness. This time, I want to try working with a slower rhythm with longer shots. It’s been long enough now since I wanted to try making a fantastic movie, so I am going to go with a ‘fantastic’ concept.
Interview: November 2018
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I am a Kiss
A gesture of the everyday life for some, is without big meaning, but for others, constitutes a promise, a declaration.
Length: 2min 20sec
Who is being interviewed for this article? Director
Director: Gaëlle François
Producer: Bahng Soo-in (방수인)
Writer: Gaëlle François
About the writer, director and producer:
GAËLLE FRANÇOIS was born in France in 1994. She is graduated from a Bachelor in Bordeaux Montaigne University in the field of Audiovisual Art and currently enrolled in a master’s degree at Chung-Ang University, majoring in film making.
BAHNG SOO-IN was born in Incheon in 1981. She graduated from Dong-ah Institute of Media and Arts. She now works as a movie director and has made her debut this year with the film “Stand by me”.
Key cast: Lee WooJin, Anne Sixtine Savoy
Looking for: producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? In YouTube.