A short film exploring the trauma of war, a story of connection and healing between a North Korean child and a Korean War veteran.
What’s the project?
We want to make a short film exploring the traumas of war.
A story of connection and healing, between a young North Korean refugee and an ageing Korean War veteran – ending on a note of understanding, compassion and hope.
It will be the first ever British-Korean film, telling the untold story of Korea’s “Forgotten War”. And it’s been written and will be directed by In-Sook Chappell, the writer of the critically acclaimed play P’yongyang.
What’s the story?
KOTCHEBI translates as ‘wandering swallow’ – North Korean slang for the orphans who roam the streets searching for food.
The film follows an unlikely friendship between a mysterious young girl and a bereaved old man. On the surface, they have nothing in common, other than living on opposite sides of the same semi-detached house in a typical suburban cul-de-sac.
Mi Young is a North Korean refugee who doesn’t speak, and Ted is a Korean War veteran. Both are traumatised by memories of extreme violence and burdened with guilt.
Despite the language barrier, they form a deep emotional connection, finding redemption and healing in each other.
Part quiet suburban drama, part war film, KOTCHEBI combines the restraint of British cinema with the intensity of Korean cinema. Ambitious, surprising, political and moving.
Why does it matter?
As the story of a young refugee being taken in and shown compassion in Middle England, KOTCHEBI couldn’t be more timely or topical.
Much of what Mi Young has experienced – losing her family, her home, her country and witnessing atrocities – echoes the experiences of millions of Syrian children and other refugees and migrants today.
But it’s also the untold story of ‘The Forgotten War’. Between 1950 -1953 the UK sent 100,000 troops to fight in the Korean War, one of the most brutal conflicts in history – yet many know little about it. Mi Young’s silence serves as a metaphor for the voicelessness of North Korean women and girls.
What’s the money for?
Who’s behind this?
Writer & Director, In-Sook Chappell
Born in South Korea and raised in England, In-Sook’s first play This Isn’t Romance(Soho Theatre) was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and commissioned as a screenplay by Film4. Her most recent play, P’yongyang, had a sell-out run at the Finborough Theatre, with 4-star reviews from the Guardian, Times and Evening Standard (amongst others) – and she is currently writing for the Royal Exchange Theatre and National Theatre.
Producer, Ameenah Ayub Allen
An award-winning producer with over ten years experience in the British film industry, Ameenah’scredits include the BIFA nominated short film The Road Home. Senior production credits include Clio Barnard’s BAFTA nominated feature The Selfish Giant and Film4/Sony Pictures’ Brick Lane. In 2014 she set up Bright Wire Films with Meg Clark and they have several diverse features in development.
Line Producer, Sara Jimenez Criado
A graduate of London’s Royal Holloway, Sara has developed and produced short films and web series’ in both the UK and Spain, including the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Illy Prize-winning shortRate Me, which was also nominated for the 2015 Queer Palm Award and received an Honourable Mention at the Toronto Film Festival.
Cinematographer, Craig Dean Devine
Craig studied cinematography under Brian Tufano (Trainspotting, Billy Elliot) and Lol Crawley BSC (Ballast, Four Lions) at the National Film and Television School. On graduation, he won the Panalux Cinematography Award for his work on The Friday Fund. Craig shot Aleem Khan’s BAFTA nominated short film Three Brothers and was recently profiled by the British Cinematographers Society magazine as ‘One To Watch’.
1st Assistant Director, Charlotte Hill
Charlotte graduated from Westminster University with a 1st class honours degree in Film and Television Production. She was 2nd Assistant Director on the feature film Chicken, 3rd Assistant Director on the BAFTA-nominated featureKajaki: The True Story and 1st Assistant Director on the award-winning London Calling Short film Above and the micro budget feature Chubby Funny. She’s just finished working as Producer and Director’s Assistant on the feature film My Cousin Rachel.
2nd Assistant Director/ Production Assistant, Minhee Yeo
Minhee is an actress and world traveller with endless curiosity about ‘people’ and languages. Her passion is for sharing stories from all over the world and she is a trained Medical Anthropologist. You can often find her on yoga mat.
Casting Director, Lotte Hines
Lotte was the Deputy Casting Director at the Royal Court Theatre between 2007 and 2014. Her Casting Director credits include Dirty Butterfly (The Young Vic) Pests (Clean Break / Royal Court), The Island (The Young Vic) The Crucible (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Absence of War(Headlong) Pride and Prejudice (Sheffield Crucible), The Glass Menagerie (Headlong) Brenda(HighTide Festival / The Yard Theatre), La Musica (The Young Vic) and The Weir (The Lyceum Edinburgh).
Executive Producer, Marc Boothe
Marc is the founder and creative director of B3 Media: an arts network that helps Black and Minority Ethnic artists tell their stories through digital film, visual arts, new media and spoken word. He produces Talentlab, a successful talent development incubator. He recently delivered L8 Unseen for the Museum of Liverpool, a mixed media exhibition which brought over 420,000 visitors to the site. Previously, Marc worked as a Senior Executive at UK Film Council (New Cinema Fund) and the Bank of England.
B3 makes connections between Britain’s multicultural communities and its creative industries. We help creative Black and Minority Ethnic artists develop, produce and distribute their work, from the first spark of an idea through to the first showing and beyond – with development labs, workshops, screenings, talks, networking events and more.
In the last four years, our outstanding alumni have appeared on the long and short list as well as winning awards from major international festivals. We are proud of our track record and look forward to producing ever more successful projects.
We believe KOTCHEBI is a really important film, that’s going to strike a chord with many people – and crowdfunding gives everyone the chance to play a concrete part in bringing this story to life.
It also gives us the freedom to be true to In-Sook’s vision for the film, and do justice to her beautiful story.
What’s in it for you?
Above all, you’ll have the joy of knowing you helped make this film happen – even if you can only give £5. We’ll thank you with things like shout outs on social media, copies of the film and signed artworks by the writer/director.
But if you’re feeling especially generous or want to play an even bigger role, you could see your name in the closing credits, meet the cast and creative team and get the VIP treatment at a private screening.
***Travel and expenses not included in rewards, delivery times for physical items may vary, please get in touch for further information***
**LIMITED EDITION POSTER PRINT by JON DANIEL, Classically trained as a graphic designer, Jon Daniel is a British-born, award-winning creative of African Caribbean heritage. In a career spanning over twenty-five years working in the fields of branding, design and visual communications, he has worked as an art director for many of London’s leading advertising agencies; co-founded and served as Executive Creative Director with two creative companies; writes a regular monthly column called ‘4 Corners’ for the UK’s leading design news platform, Design Week.**
How can you help?
By making a pledge
Whether it’s £5 or £1,000 – whatever you can spare can and will make a difference.
By spreading the word
Mention us on social media, with the hashtag #Kotchebi and a link to this page – or share and retweet our posts.
And replace your cover image with our ‘Campaign Supporter’ image (which you’ll receive with every pledge). Don’t forget to include a link back to this page.
By making connections
Do you have any friends who work in media, or have their own blog or radio show? Put us in touch. Send them a link to our Crowdfunder or get them to contact us direct via email.
Call to action:
Help us change the way the world thinks about refugees – and tell the untold story of Korea’s “Forgotten War”
Make a pledge today.