Joyce Heeyoung Cho is a media financing/producing specialist based in Seoul, Korea. Cho started her industry career as a producer right after graduating from Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA) as a producing major in 2007. Her previous major work experience in the motion picture field includes work at production houses, studios such as CJ CGV, CJ E&M, and a venture capital company Timewise Investment, where she covered extensive range of roles from developing, sourcing/distributing/exhibiting art-house or specialty films, to financing more than 50 local commercial films. In 2015, Cho co-produced The Last Knights, a US/Korea/Japan co-production epic directed by Kazuaki Kiriya and starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman. Recently, she also co-produced a local webtoon titled Ghost published through a local webtoon platform called Toomics, which plans to expand its prequel through a feature film.
Cho also has several years of experience in teaching film business classes, such as project financing and film producing, at local universities including Chung-Ang University and Sejong University in Seoul. She also served as a financing consultant for local media companies and organizations such as the Busan Film Commission. Cho graduated from Seoul National University with BA/MA degrees in English literature and language. She also studied in the Ph.D program of the linguistics department at Georgetown University and earned her doctorate from Graduate School of Advanced Imaging Science, Multi-media & Film at Chung-Ang University with a dissertation titled: “A Study on Intertextuality-driven Approach to Planning and Distributing Transmedia Properties: Focused on Works Dispersed Through TV Series and Webtoons.”
Han Sunhee is a producer and director of Plain Pictures and has been working in the Korean film industry since 1999. She worked as a professional film journalist and editor for various local film magazines and books, and served as a Korea correspondent for Variety. Her career as a film producer started with the feature-length documentary Talking Architect (2011), one of the high-grossing independent films in 2011. Afterwards, she went on to produce Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits (2013) and was the executive producer of The Basement Satellite (2013), both of which were critically acclaimed and theatrically released nationwide.
Han has expanded her career into a wider variety of platforms, including a TV documentary Shaman of the Sea (2012) for Discovery Channel Asia-Pacific Networks and a video installation artwork Citizens’ Forest (2016) for Taipei Biennial. She made her directorial debut with Old Days (2016), which was officially invited to the Korea Cinemascape section at Jeonju Int’l Film Festival 2016, Festival du Film Coréen à Paris and Udine Far East Film Festival 2017. Currently she is developing a few projects including The Final Print, which won the prestigious Busan Award at the 2018 Asian Project Market.
Originally from Massachusetts, Darcy Paquet has been living in Seoul since 1997. He first became active in the film industry as a journalist, launching the website Koreanfilm.org in 1999 and working as a reporter for Screen International and later Variety. He has written columns for the Korean film weekly Cine21, web portal Daum.net, and the Hankook Ilbo newspaper. He is the author of New Korean Cinema: Breaking the Waves (2010, Columbia University Press), and over the past decade he has taught film classes at Kyunghee University, the Graduate School of International Studies at Korea University, and at Korea University’s International Summer Campus. He also works as a Program Consultant for the Udine Far East Film Festival and as a Delegate for the San Sebastian International Film Festival.
Darcy has translated the subtitles for a wide range of Korean films including Park Chanwook’s The Handmaiden (2016), Kim Jeewoon’s The Age of Shadows (2016) and Hong Sangsoo’s On the Beach at Night Alone (2017). He has also occasionally appeared as a supporting actor in films like Im Sangsoo’s The Taste of Money (2012) and the TV drama 3 Days (2014). In 2014 he co-launched the Wildflower Film Awards Korea, an annual awards ceremony recognizing achievement in Korea’s independent film sector.
Jenna Ku is born in 1974, Seoul, Korea. She majored sociology and got her MA in film at Chung-Ang University Graduate School, Seoul, Korea. She entered the field of film business as she co-founded INDIESTORY (www.indiestory.com), a distribution company for Korean independent films. She built up her career as a producer in investment/distribution companies such as Korea Pictures and Core Studio and production companies such as Realise Pictures and Boim Pictures.
As a freelancer producer she produced Penny Pinchers (2011), Actress Series (2014), The Table (2016), Little Forest (2018). In 2016 she founded VOL Media, film and other media production company based in Seoul. The first film, The Table was premiered at Busan International Film Festival in 2016.
Mike Figgis is an artist who combines various disciplines. After studying music and playing with various ensembles Figgis joined the experimental performance group People Show and toured extensively for ten years. After forming his own group Figgis began to experiment with film and sound, combining these elements with live theatre and opera. His first film, a one hour political fantasy for Channel 4 called The House, brought him into the domain of cinema. Stormy Monday, set in the gritty crime world of Newcastle combines British and American actors and its success in the USA was followed by an extended period of mainstream feature filmmaking with Figgis resident in Los Angeles. Leaving Las Vegas, financed by an independent French company, was made on a very low budget and shot on Super 16mm film (in 24 days) and was a huge success, nominated for four Academy Awards, one for each of the actors and two for Figgis as both writer and director. Encouraged by the success of a more experimental and minimal approach to filmmaking, Figgis continued to push boundaries and Timecode (2000) was the first real-time digital film ever made, preceding Russian Arc by a few years. Since 2000 Mike Figgis has been at the forefront of the digital revolution. The Fig-Rig was designed by Figgis specifically for the new generation of smaller digital cameras and this innovative camera support system has spawned countless variations.
He is a regular visiting professor at the NFTS in England, the London Film School, EGS (European Graduate School), the Cuban Film School and Nanjing University.
Ajay Rai is an award-winning producer and founder of In Front Films. His producing credits include shorts, documentaries, branded content and international co-productions featuring the talents of Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner, Michael Lennox; Cannes Un Certain Regard (Prix de l’avenir) and FIPRESCI winner, Neeraj Ghaywan; BAFTA and RTS Award nominee, Regina Moriarty and Grierson Award shortlisted, Ashley Pegg.
He has worked in various development and executive roles at film production and finance companies including Partizan, Gunslinger Films and for BBC Drama. He also initiated and directed the BFI Film Academy delivered by Revolver Entertainment and partners BAFTA, Creative Skillset and Pinewood Studios. He is a MA Producing graduate of the National Film & Television School and a Richard Dunn scholar.
Raymond Phathanavirangoon is the Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab (SEAFIC), a 9-month intensive script lab for Southeast Asian filmmakers. In addition, he produces international co-productions such as Boo Junfeng’s Apprentice (Cannes Un Certain Regard 2016) and Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Samui Song (Opening Film, Venice Days 2017) and Headshot (Berlin Panorama 2011), among many others. He also previously served as international programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival and the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival as well as Programme Consultant for the Hong Kong International Film Festival and Cannes Critics' Week. Prior to that, he was the Director of Marketing & Special Projects (Acquisitions) for international sales agent Fortissimo Films. He acted as a Reading Committee Member for the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) and was an advisory member of the Asian Film Awards (AFA). He was a jury member at festivals such as Berlinale, Sarajevo, Vladivostok, Seattle, Antalya, and others.