Lullaby City - Korean Love Stories Free on YouTube

by Lesley Suel Kim, 29/12/2016

My name is Lesley Suel Kim. I'm a Korean-American filmmaker originally from New York City. I lived in New York my entire life, and also graduated from New York University’s Film and Screenwriting Programs. But after graduating from college, I had the very strong urge to visit South Korea for the first time, as I wanted to explore the homeland of my parents. I felt that experiencing Korea’s culture for myself would give me a deeper connection with my parents, and perhaps with my own identity as well.

I arrived in Seoul in 2009, and I enjoyed life in Korea so much that I ended up staying for 6 years. I was fascinated by Korea’s rich history and culture. I had the privilege of teaching film and writing to high school and college students at several elite schools. In 2013, I was inspired to create my own film based on my Korean adventures. However, my teaching jobs took up most of my time, and I found myself lacking in connections and resources.

So, I wrote a script, and recruited a few friends as actors and actresses. My friends had never acted before, but I was confident that they would be able to fill the roles in my film, as they all had natural ability and charisma. Equipped with a digital camera (my trusty Panasonic DVX-100), I started filming with my friends on weekends, and Lullaby City was created. My film was made with a budget of 300,000 won (about 300 US dollars). I assumed all production roles myself. I was also very lucky in finding Chris Zabriskie’s gorgeous and enchanting music.

Our film is a collection of love stories set in Seoul. The first story follows a 40 year old sculptor living with her mother, the second a young foreign office worker stuck in his banal lifestyle, and the third a daughter with a penchant for expensive handbags. The film stars Im Hana, Cho Mina, and Daniel Alonso.

After the film was completed, it screened at several national and international film festivals, including the Zimbabwe International Film Festival, the New Filmmakers Film Festival in New York, and the No Gloss Film Festival in Leeds, England. In Zimbabwe, the film screened for the Korean Embassy at a special gala event. The No Gloss Film Festival called our film "a beautiful omnibus shot with just $300! A MUST SEE!" The Grid, a UK based art journal, called Lullaby City “beautifully sad, capturing the various corruptions of a city on the lonely.”

This film was a passion project, and I am very proud of all of the hard work and dedication of our actors and crew. Because the film is a no-budget project, I feel that it is important for people to have access to watch it for free! The full 60-minute film is available to watch for free on Youtube now. The link to the film is below. You can find out more about the film on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well!

It truly feels wonderful to be able to share this film with everyone. I am grateful for the experience of making Lullaby City, and hope that the film can inspire others to embrace their spirit of independent filmmaking. Lullaby City is proof that any artist can create a meaningful film with hard work and support from family and friends. Please share the film if you enjoy it! Thank you!


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