France, producer: Guillaume de la Boulaye
Producer: Guillaume de la Boulaye
Production Company: Zorba Production
Director: Jéro Yun
Writer: Jéro Yun
Company and contact details
23 rue des Jeûneurs
75002 Paris France
In Busan, a 16-year-old girl, Ji-hyun, learns that her father had once been married to a North Korean woman. More shockingly, Ji-hyun discovers that this woman is her biological mother, and a refugee in China at risk of being sent back to North Korea should Shin not pay a ransom. Attempts to save her mother fail, and the years pass. Shin has cancer, and mysteriously leaves home to find a girl named Ji-na – a prostitute in the hands of a Chinese gang – and bring her back. Shin, dying, loses track of her. Tae-soo, Shin’s son, is doing his military service when he hears of his father’s death. Upon reading the will, he discovers that Shin had a second daughter, Ji-na, with his North Korean wife; a daughter he wants his children to find. Reluctance aside, Tae-soo and Ji-hyun depart on this dangerous journey to fulfill their father’s last request.
Guillaume de la Boulaye
Guillaume de la Boulaye spent two years in South Korea working for the French Embassy as a cultural attaché in the 1990s. He returned to France and graduated with a master’s degree in film production from the European Film Production Center. He worked as the postproduction coordinator on Park Kwang-Su’s film Yi Jae-Su’s War and then worked as a line producer for several production companies on commercials, short films, documentaries and features. He co-founded Zorba Production in 2004 with Olivier Mardi.
Zorba Production is now a subsidiary of the Zorba Group, a company that creates and produces visual, audiovisual and digital content. It has 21 permanent employees and a budget or annual revenue of 3,2 million Euros in 2011.
I met Jero Yun when he was studying at Le Fresnoy, the famous international film school in France. One of the Jero’s short films that I produced, Promise, earned grand prize at the Seoul Asiana Festival and led him to visit the border between China and North Korea where he met North Korean refugees. This journey provided the inspiration for the feature film Secret of My North Korean Father. In this film the concept of ‘family’ serves as a metaphor for the divided Korean Peninsula. Because of their blood ties, the principal characters are torn between their North Korean and South Korean origins while they learn about the dark world of human trafficking that is far from their own experience.