Jeno Kim is a Korean-Australian actor and filmmaker based in Sydney. A recipient of The Tarkovski Grant and a Los Angeles Producer's Night nomination, Jeno's directorial debut 'Ride' current selections include Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival. As a performer Jeno has worked on projects produced by SBS, ABC, Legs On The Wall Theatre Company and the Sydney Theatre Company.
iFilmFestival: Tell us a bit about your most important film so far.
JK: “‘Ride’ was my first time behind the camera as a writer, director and producer. I think your first film should always be one of, if not the most important film you make as it was the moment you mustered the courage to take the leap. It was the turning point where you made the decision to get up from your seat to let the world know that you too had something to say.”
Film Still: Ride
iFilmFestival: What were the key challenges making it?
JK: “Realising in post-production that my original vision was not possible with the budget and material that we had. I have my editor and key collaborator Victor Tran to thank, as initially I wanted to make a big breakfast however he helped me make a breakfast burrito instead. Always collaborate with people better than you!”
iFilmFestival: What’s one aspect that you’re particularly proud of?
JK: “I am proud that as a fully self-funded independent project I did not have to make any compromises for any external parties and therefore was able to make the film I wanted to make from start to finish regardless of the outcome.”
iFilmFestival: How did you get involved in filmmaking?
JK: “After many years as an actor bringing other people’s vision to life, although that will always be fun for me, I had always known that I too had a voice and colour of my own.”
iFilmFestival: What new projects are you working on or are you hoping to work on in the future?
JK: “In the immediate future I am preparing to make my next short-film and would like to keep exploring my artistry in this medium before inevitably expanding. I will always have an affinity for a bite-sized cinema experience that is short-films, as they always feel very intimate like a portrait painting and I feel like I’m very much enjoying living in my portrait-era.”
iFilmFestival: What role do film festivals play?
JK: “Hope for cinema culture.”
iFilmFestival: What is your advice to filmmakers tackling the festival circuit?
JK: “Know your goals before submitting to make the dollars count. Do you want your film to lead you to commercial success or would you rather become affiliated with people who are genuinely fans of your work?”
iFilmFestival: How do you see the future of film?
JK: “Hopefully more feature films that are under 80 minutes. The films that I tend to gravitate towards are either 1 hour or over 3 hours.”
iFilmFestival: Which filmmaker do you admire and why?
JK: “I admire the filmmaker featured before and after me, because there will always be someone before and after you.”
iFilmFestival: What film have you recently seen that you have admired in one way or another?
JK: “Films that moved me recently were ‘There Is a Stone’ by Tatsunari Ota and ‘Paddleton’ by Alexandre Lehmann, in which both films reinforced the power in the seemingly simple.”
iFilmFestival: Thank you Jeno for answering our questions!
Interview by iFilmFestival on 1 August 2023.