by Gina Kim
When Andrew Ahn decided to make a film about a gay Korean American living in Los Angeles, he had only two audience members in mind: his mom and dad. And just one message for them: “I’m gay.”
The 25-year-old had wanted to tell his parents that for some time, but couldn’t bring himself to do it. Instead, he hoped his short film, Dol (First Birthday), would speak for him. Dol, which started out as his thesis work for an MFA in film directing at California Institute of the Arts, would later be accepted into this year’s Sundance Film Festival for the Short Narrative Fiction Competition.
What was intended to be an intimate story is now screening at the largest film festival in the country.
“It’s such a small, personal film that it almost feels kind of strange that it’s big and public now,” Ahn tells KoreAm.
Read more about Ahn’s journey in making his film and coming out to his parents in the upcoming February issue of KoreAm. To check out Dol at Sundance, in progress now in Park City, Utah, click here for festival information and details on screening times.
The 1st KOREATOWN COMEDY FESTIVAL, hosted by PK and Dumbfoundead
A night of nonstop laughter for a worthy cause! Count us in. LiNK and Kollaboration have teamed up to bring Los Angeles the first ever Koreatown Comedy Festival this Thursday! Presented by PK and Dumbfoundead, this stand up comedy show sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
It’s the new year, and Yim Jae Beum is coming to town! After a sold-out show in Los Angeles last October, he is coming back to hold two U.S. concerts for the 2012 Lunar New Year. Everyone already knows this man can sing! He’s got an impressive resume, debuting as a rock singer back in 1986, releasing Korean classics, such as “For You,” and most recently, joining and winning first place twice on the MBC show, “I am a Singer.”
Seattle and New Jersey, get ready! We are happy to announce that we will be giving away TWO (2) pairs of tickets! Continue Reading »
Beauty is only skin deep. This is truly the case for this Chinese TV reporter who decides to demonstrate the “Round Hill Midao.” It’s basically a a giant, steep slide at the Taipei Grand Hotel. The reporter’s cute, and she certainly seems enthusiastic about presenting the slide to her viewers. But clearly, she knows just as much as the viewer about the slide, because about 20 seconds later, I’m questioning why such a pretty lady has such horrifying vocal chords.
After she opens the doors, I half-expected her to tumble down the slide, and that would instantly make the video a big hit, because humans love to laugh at others’ misfortunes. However, that’s not the case. She doesn’t fall or anything, but I’d bet she was dying or something if my eyes weren’t open. Commenters mention she sounds like a variety of things, some being a Wookie from Star Wars, Angry Birds, and the Grape Lady (my personal favorite).
In conclusion, reporter introduces slide, slide shocks reporter, reporter’s whaling terrifies viewer. End of video. It’s still pretty darn hilarious.
Papa John’s customer: Pizza joint called me ‘lady chinky eyes’
NY Daily News
Minhee Cho, 24, was shocked when she learned she had been described by a Papa John’s employee as “lady chinky eyes.”
The public relations rep spotted the disparaging phrase on her receipt Saturday a day after visiting a Hamilton Heights branch of the popular pizzeria.
“Hey @PapaJohns just FYI my name isn’t ‘lady chinky eyes,’” Cho tweeted, along with the an image of the offensive receipt.
Luxuries Flow Into North Korea
The Wall Street Journal
An examination of U.N. and Chinese trade data reveals that exports to North Korea of products including cars, tobacco, laptops, cellphones and domestic electrical appliances all increased significantly over the past five years. Most items crossed the border from China.
The data reveal glaring loopholes in the sanctions regime, demonstrating how China has stepped in as North Korea’s main supplier of goods considered luxuries as other countries have clamped down on such exports.
For Kim Jong Eun, a choreographed rise
The Washington Post
The emerging biography of North Korea’s new leader, considered fictitious in nearly every country but his own, portrays him as the ultimate quick study, a poet and a marksman, an economics whiz and a military strategist.
The mythmaking is particularly important because Kim Jong Eun, handed power in one of the world’s most secretive nations three weeks ago, has yet to publicly prove his acumen. His life has been turned into a hyper-choreographed showcase for his credibility, and Korea-watchers are scrutinizing his every move: He wears a black double-breasted coat much like his grandfather did. He tours military sites that were his father’s favorites. Even his birthday, on Sunday, will be closely watched.
Fighting the disease that stole his grandfather
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Soojeong Choe will never forget the day that Alzheimer’s disease began stealing his grandfather’s memory.
“I was in tears when he couldn’t remember my name,” said the 17-year-old, a Grade 12 student at Toronto’s York Mills Collegiate.
His grandfather, Sangmoo Choe, passed away a year ago at 83 after a long battle with the illness. The two had been extraordinarily close, sharing nicknames and a room together after their family immigrated to Toronto from Hong Kong and South Korea about 10 years ago. Mr. Choe said his grandfather’s death “was the worst thing that has happened in my life.”
He became intrigued by Alzheimer’s and wanted to learn more about the disease and raise money to help find a cure. So he started an Alzheimer Club at his high school shortly after his grandfather passed away. Within a few months the group had raised more than $1,000 through a handful of events. The club now has 40 members and it is planning more fundraising activities this spring.
A trainer’s horse whispers fall on deaf ears in South Korea
Los Angeles Times
For two seasons, the 47-year-old with the clipped Brooklyn accent has tried to make his mark in South Korean horse racing, a subculture famously resistant to outsiders.
To succeed, experts say, foreign trainers and jockeys must conquer a rank-and-file track culture in which the biggest worry is the prospect of newcomers outshining native talent.
The Korean Racing Authority wants to change that.
In 2010, officials offered Murphy airfare and a contract in an effort to raise the quality of South Korean racetracks to better meet international standards and keep pace not just with the U.S., but also with regional competitors.
Korean-American businesses share the love
Voices of NY
Korean nail professionals donated their services to the elderly, and church members assembled baskets of fruit to show appreciation to police officers, firemen and the elderly.
But it didn’t end there. Just before New Year’s Eve, members of the Korean American Beautician Federation gave free hair cuts to residents of Corona Senior Center of the Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York in Queens.
In the heart of Seoul: The South Korean capital has plenty of surprises for urban adventurers
The Independent (U.K.)
Korea surprised me, not least in its civic sense of humour – quirky, surreal, sometimes raucous and often, yes, a bit silly. Laughter has helped its citizens ease their rapid passage from the war-wrecked wasteland of the 1950s to today’s urban and ultra-modern “Asian tiger”.
It is one of the qualities that takes the edge off the daily stress of Seoul. Take the cheap and efficient subway (and you should: a single ticket costs 60p, while maps in Roman as well as Korean script, aid the foreigner). Just before a train arrives in the station, a merry little fanfare plays. You enter the clean, comfortable carriage with a smile. London Underground, take note.
Korean Patriot Inducted into Int’l Civil Rights Hall of Fame
Ahn Chang-ho, a Korean activist who fought against the Japanese occupation of Korea between 1919 to 1945, has become the first East Asian to be inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Trumpet Awards Foundation, which selects the honorees for the walk of fame, held a ceremony on Friday honoring the latest inductees at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.
Orioles sign Korean pitcher, three others to minor league deals
The Orioles continued their offseason efforts to tap into international scouting — the Asian market in particular — by signing their first South Korean pitcher.
The team has signed journeyman right-hander Eun Chul Choi to a minor league contract, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette confirmed Friday.