The Ottawa International Film Festival has released it’s list for the 2015 line up which you can view here: http://www.oiff.ca/films/this-years-films/.
Ann Shin is an award winning Canadian director from Toronto, Ontario, who’s list of credentials is undoubtably distinguished- producing and directing program series for HGTV, CBC, Discovery Channel, History Channel, PBS, W Network and Fine Living Network. She is the recipient of the Canadian Screen Award whose films have been showcased internationally, garnering the attention of festivals such as Hot Docs, IDFA, The San Francisco Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Mumbai International Film Festival, New York Festivals, and the Chris Awards. Her credits include Canadian Screen Awards for Best Documentary Program and Best Director in a Documentary Program and the Diversity Award for The Defector: Escape from North Korea. Her new media work, The Defector Interactive, has won an FITC Award for Best Motion Graphics, Digi Award for Best in Cross Platform Non-Fiction, and SXSW Award for Motion Graphics.
“The Defector: Escape from North Korea” follows human smugglers who help defectors from North Korea make their escape into China and onward to Thailand on a dangerous mission. In this film, Ann went with these women on their journey led by a guide or “broker” known as Dragon. The film highlights the issues of vulnerability for individuals (mostly women) struggling to safely escape North Korea and gain refugee status.
Ann’s list of achievements is long – however, I’m interested in knowing the kind of woman who’s responsible for directing and delivering such incredible films, mastering the art of documentary style film as well as animation. With family still living in South Korea, the choice in subject matter for the documentary was clearly informed by her own personal interest and affiliation to this area.
“The Defector” also won awards for it’s diversity as it contained an impressive list of contributors from all over the world, risking their very safety and freedom in the making of this film. Trailer Here:
Upon my quest for a deeper understanding of Ms. Shin, I found to my surprise, that I have already been introduced to her work during a university women’s studies class. A professor of mine chose to feature Ann Shin’s work, “Western Eyes”, a film she made at the kick off of the millennia, in year 2000, which highlights the struggle of women of colour dealing with internalized racism in a culture saturated by Western-white supremacist standards of beauty.
Watch Here: https://www.nfb.ca/film/western-eyes
This year at the 2015, Ottawa International Film Festival, an Ann Shin film entitled, “My Enemy, My Brother” will be featured. The story follows an incredible true story about two former soldiers from the Iran and Iraq war.
Watch Trailer Here: http://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000003680088/my-enemy-my-brother.html