Shin Dong-mi

Korean actress Shin Dong-mi during a photoshoot with TenAsia, at a studio located in Gangnam-gu in Seoul, Korea on April 15, 2013. [TenAsia/ Chae Ki-won]



One of Korea’s top three film festivals, the Jeonju International Film Festival [JIFF] is set to open this year on April 25. JIFF is considered to be the event which celebrates experimental cinema from both Korea and overseas.  

One flagship program at JIFF is their “Short! Short! Short” project in which three directors are invited to make a short film. To mark the opening of this year’s JIFF, TenAsia English interviewed the three teams involved in this year’s very exciting project.


Q. Tell us about your film and character.  

Shin Dong-mi: To create our film “THE BODY,” directors Park Jin-sung and Park Jin-seok added their imagination to add details to Korean novelist Kim Young-ha’s short novel “The Last Visitor.” So the movie requires more of the audience’s imagination. And I took on a character named Young-sun, the wife of the art director, who actually appears in the novel as well..  

Q. Among the three “SHORT! SHORT! SHORT! 2013” films, I heard that “THE BODY” made the most changes to its original story. It seems that “The Last Visitor” wasn’t able to express much since it was a short story so what would you say is the largest difference from its original story?  

Shin: My gaze? (laugh) What would it be? Well… It’s true that the novel was adapted for the screen but it doesn’t mean that we did harm to the original story. We took the original story and added a few more scenes that may help explain the original story. My character is not too far from the one in the novel but Bae Seul-gi’s character is very attractive. She plays a femme fatal actress. (both laugh)  

Q. It must have been interesting to work with directors who are brothers and different from working with a single director.

Shin: They had clear boundaries regarding their jobs. It was very helpful that they had different roles on set and both were amazing directors with such great personalities that we couldn’t stop laughing on set. They made us feel so comfortable. We didn’t stop talking during the press conference of the Jeonju International Film Festival a month ago either, so the chief programmer Kim Young-jin asked us whether we had fun because it seemed like we were getting along so well. But it was all because the directors treated us so well on set.

Q. What do you think about your co-star Bae Seul-gi?  

Shin: She did such a good job in the film. I had actually said, “What?” when I heard that she was cast for the movie. But once I got onto set and saw her shoot her first scene, I told myself I should work harder.

Q. People usually say you have a familiar look that makes you seem like the woman from next door so I am surprised to see how beautiful you are in person. Due to your good acting in indie film “Romance Joe” and regained attention from MBC medical drama “Golden Time” over the last two years, film critic Kim Young-jin praised you by saying in an article that you’re “an actor who manages and preserves one’s energy well.” What do you think about this?

Shin: I saw the article. He used the phrase “rediscovery of an actor” when I hadn’t even met him before so I’ve been thinking I should treat him big sometime. And you know, he became the chief programmer for JIFF but I didn’t recognize him when I met him at the press conference a month ago. (laugh) I only realized it when I was going back home. I will definitely treat him in Jeonju. I’ll buy him a drink too. I feel so grateful and he encouraged me so much because it felt like he was telling me to become an even better actor… I took a long break from television and “Golden Time” was the first one in a while so I appreciate everyone that still remembers me.  

Q. What’s your plan for your stay in Jeonju for JIFF?  

Shin: Our entire cast has known each other for a long time so we’re all close. It’s important to watch movies there but when we started to shoot the film, we already planned on having fun in Jeonju with lots of delicious food the city has. So we’re basically going to go and have fun there. (laugh)

Photographer: Chae Ki-won