Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interview: "Making Noise In Silence" with Mina Son

Continuing in our series of interviews with short filmmakers, next up is a special chat with Mina Son, whose film Making Noise in Silence was part of our International Short Film Showcase at this year's Korean Film Festival in Australia. The film had an encore showing as part of our Korean Short Film Night 2012 on September 29th. For more information, click through to Cinema On The Park's website.

Making Noise in Silence is a short documentary about two teenagers navigating the complexities of adolescence and adulthood within the duality of Deaf and Korean cultures.

The film screened at several different film festivals including the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, United Nations Association Film Festival, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival and the San Diego Asian Film Festival where it received the Best Short Documentary prize in 2011.

Read on for a short interview with director Mina Son and her film Making Noise in Silence.

How did you get into the film industry?
I had a late start in documentary filmmaking and didn’t make my first film until several years after graduating from university. My mother became very ill and I had to move back in with my parents. It was then that I somehow fell into filmmaking and made my first short documentary about my experience as a full-time caretaker. I immediately fell in love and decided to pursue it further eventually getting an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. Making Noise in Silence is my thesis film from Stanford.

What or who inspires you as an artist?
I am a huge fan of Kim Longinotto’s work and also of Nicolas Philibert. His documentary film, In the Land of the Deaf, was a huge inspiration for Making Noise in Silence. 

Tell us more about why you wanted to make Making Noise in Silence.
One of the reasons I was drawn to making this film is because of my own experiences growing up bicultural. Even though I was born in the U.S., my parents (being from Korea) wanted to make sure I knew about Korean culture. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to my film because even though Making Noise in Silence deals with being deaf and Korean, a key part of the story relates to the classic immigrant tale of how parents come to America in search of a better life for their children, and the challenges that can arise from it.

Are you excited to have an Australian Premiere at the KOFFIA International Short Film Showcase, and a 2nd screening at the 2012 Korean Short Film Night? How do you think the Australian audience will respond to the film?
Yes, absolutely! It’s a huge honor for the film. I hope Australian audiences enjoy the film. 

What's next for you?
My filmmaking partner and I are currently working on our first-feature length documentary called Top Spin. For the past year, we’ve been following a group of table tennis teens with hopes of winning a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. We’re very excited that we’ll be going to London soon! We hope to have the film finished in early 2013.

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