Grimmfest Interview with Trans director Naeri Do

Grimmfest’s first Easter Edition kicks off on the evening of Thur April 1st, 2021 with our preview night, and then continues across the evenings of 2-5 April, with a series of feature film premiere double bills with supporting shorts and Q&As with the cast & crew of each feature. In addition, there’ll be an exclusive pass holder double bill and an ARROW double bill both of which can be accessed any time across the weekend.

There’s so much to watch you won’t have time to get bored this Easter!

Minyoung Go is a young girl with an eating disorder who dreams of becoming a transhuman. Following a serious assault, she plans revenge on the boys that attacked her by making her dreams into a reality.

****SPOILER WARNING****

How did this idea begin, how did the project develop?

First it started with the plotting, and plotting was the key point for this movie. At first it began with [my] interest in multiple universes and then exploring the multiple unconsciousness, and [I] wanted the plot to reflect what our brain sees. Also the second point that [I] wanted to make was that reality is actually what our brain sees. We think that dreams come from what we see but actually dreams are what our brain interprets and [I] wanted to reflect this.

The film features some fairly brutal scenes of bullying in a school environment, was this based on anything reported in the Korean media or any personal experiences?

School bullying unfortunately happens worldwide, but the bullying that was portrayed in the film wasn’t an incident specific to Korea. [I] wanted to add in the concept that the main character suffered with bulimia and basically for the main character eating is torture for her. [I] wanted to kind of use that as bullying, and also because it is true that bulimia and depression and illnesses like that have been treated by electrical shocks to the brain, and also the lightning rods that you see in the film kind of are skinny and tall.

How did you get into directing?

Firstly [I] was inspired by a lot of films and a series that [I] watched in middle school, and [I] was a junior in high school when [I] said [i] wanted to make films, though [I] didn’t major in theater. [I] majored in philosophy as well but through external workshops on filmmaking, that’s how [I] got started with first short films and [I] made about four short films while in University and after that, developing the script and had a goal to do a full feature film.

How would you sell TRANS in one sentence?

It’s actually difficult to come up with one sentence that describes this film. [I] did a podcast in the US, and they wrote a short introduction that says from transhuman to cyberfeminism.

This actually did a good job of identifying my two main points.

Were there any influences in how you approached TRANS?

It started with an interest in science fiction themes and then through research that [I] had done. It was all the material that [I] saw which led to developing the film. It wasn’t any specific literature, with the fact that she wanted to focus on the plot movies like INCEPTION and I INSIDE were films that inspired me.

With a major in philosophy, [I] think about identity and views on how we see the world. The title TRANS also signifies crossing borders.

What do you hope audiences take away from this film?

[I] wanted to focus on the subject of how we see reality. The movie is actually divided into five parts. The first three parts represent dreams and the last part where the main character is wearing a prosthetic arm is the actual reality. [I] would like the audience to wonder which part is reality, and question what they’ve seen.

Has anything showing at Grimmfest’s Easter Horror Nights caught your eye?

[I] actually don’t watch a lot of horror movies, but [I] was looking through the Grimmfest line up and saw that there were some black comedy films which [I] would be interested in.

What’s the best horror film you’ve seen for the first time recently?

Recently enjoying director Brandon Cronenberg, [I] really liked POSSESSOR and he’s also done ANTIVIRAL.

What have you got lined up next?

[I] want to continue to challenge myself by delving into the science fiction field. There are not any projects lined up as of yet, but [I] would like to work on personally films that
go more into biology mixed with elements of AI. [I] love the topic of cyber feminism and [I] would really want to make a film which can signify feminism.

Interview by Sean Luby. Translated by Elise Shim. Check out the films Insat HERE. Find out more and book your tickets HERE and check out the trailer below:

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Gremlin

There is little that gets between Gremlin and a good news story. Except perhaps a late night snack followed by a dip in the pool.

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