CENTERPIECE PRESENTATION (SEOUL SEARCHING) AND AFTER PARTY
Directed by Benson Lee
In the summer of 1986, the South Korean government decided to open a special summer camp for the offspring of Korean immigrants around the world, so that they could reconnect with their heritage and learn what it means to be Korean. Based on true events, SEOUL SEARCHING follows a group of students during this summer as they struggle to connect with one another, but end up ultimately finding themselves.
Sid is a punker from LA who has serious issues with authority, including Mr. Kim, the head teacher of his class who harbors a painful secret. Sid gets into a romance with Grace, a pastor’s kid from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, who worships and embodies Madonna. Sergio is a Mexican womanizer who loves fiestas and senoritas, but meets his match in Sue-jin, a feminist-in-the-making. Klaus hails from Hamburg, Germany and helps Kris, an adoptee, find and reconnect with her birth mother. This group along with hip-hop inspired rappers from Queens, a military enthusiast, the pretentious Brit. Bitch, and many more capture the emotion and angst of youth in an era where teens were naïve, politically incorrect, polarized by cliques, and knew nothing about the world.
SEOUL SEARCHING is Benson Lee’s response to abject stereotypes of Asians in the media, especially in the 1980s. While it is a fun teen movie that epitomizes the ‘80s in its full, stylized glory through its use of fashion and movie, SEOUL SEARCHING is also celebration of the Korean diaspora and provides real Asian characters the depth and voice they deserve.
With its star-studded cast and award-winning director and crew, SEOUL SEARCHING made its premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It has also been screened at CAAMFest 2015 and LAFF 2015. AAIFF15 will mark SEOUL SEARCHING’s New York City premiere.
Co-Presented by: Korean American International Film Festival (KAFFNY), Asian American Association of Times Inc. ,Korea Society and Cape
Post Screening Panelists:
Benson Lee, Director, SEOUL SEARCHING
Justin Chon, Actor, SEOUL SERCHING
Esteban Ahn, Actor, SEOUL SEARCHING
Nekhebet Kum Juch, Actress, SEOUL SEARCHING
Uatchet Jin Juch, Actress, SEOUL SEARCHING
Andrea Chung, Producer, SEOUL SEARCHING
Daniel Katz, Cinematographer, SEOUL SEARCHING
The Official AAIFF 2015 Centerpiece Party takes place after the screening of SEOUL SEARCHING at Drom NYC, 85 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009, in the East Village — a 10-minute walk from Village East Cinema.
Benson Lee is an award-winning Korean-American filmmaker who has directed drama, documentary and viral content for 20 years. His films have been distributed in over 80 countries and his works have premiered at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals and aired on HBO, MTV and the Sundance Channel. He is the first Korean-American director to be accepted into the Dramatic Competition of the Sundance Film Festival (1998), where his film MISS MONDAY received the Special Grand Jury Prize.