Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2015 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project A Corner Shop
Category Youngsan Fund
Project A Corner Shop
Director LEE Sookkyung
Country Korea
Director's Profile Born in 1964 in Seoul. 23rd graduating class of Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA). LEE majored German language and literature at Korea University and earned a Master’s in Women's Studies from Ewha Womans University Graduate School. She now serves as president of Zoomanet, an online community for women. LEE jumped into the cinematography field after she stopped being a “women's studies scholar” at age 40 and become a “filmmaker”. Her first feature The Day After was officially invited to the Berlin International Film Festival, which received NETPAC Award. After Wandering Stars, which depicts a story of three teenagers, she is determined to make a film that actively communicates with the world. She is working on her next project A Corner Shop.
Hongki lives near the end of a bus route in Munsan, Paju. He gets on the first bus in the morning to go to HongDae bus station, changes to a small bus, arrives at the shop, changes into uniform and starts arranging bowls and preparing ingredients. Ssikssiklee the owner, is busy worrying about monthly wages for 10 people. Fewer orders and unexpected expenses keeps him busy working by himself. He is also concerned that Jjong the cook wants to have a tattoo on his hand. Ssikssiklee sits down in a corner of the shop looking at the books to find expenses to minimize; however, he needs to go to hospital because he is overworked. Jjong gets a tattoo on his hand. Jjam got fired from his first job at Picnic Cat and spent one month doing nothing but drinking. Putup is filled with anticipation and concern as his father decides to move to another city called Yeongju in Gyeongsangbuk-do. Hongki wants to become independent and open a small shop. He likes working in Picnic Cat compared to his previous part-time jobs. He is little shocked to see Jjam getting fired but he soon accepts the situation. One spring day, the young owner Ssikssiklee stands in front of the shop and asks himself – am I doing it right? The small corner shop where he works with nine young people never has a peaceful day, and each one of them has the same question in common, “Can this little shop survive in this harsh reality?”
Director's Note
This film is a story of a small corner shop and 10 people working there. None of them are special; the shop is not particularly good at its business and the people have nothing special. The shop is not a venue to fight against irrational reality nor does it represent any place or time scarred with painful history. This shop is not a scene of sharp conflict and tension, and has no intense drama. Instead, this shop is a place for part-timers, who love playing games, who have just started dating, or who are about to join the army. The owner in his 40s is constantly worried about his wages and works hard for survival. This place is full of ordinary drama. Big and small problems arise that are solved and restarted over and over. This kind of place is the front line to protect human value. The reality in this little shop is what happens in the world. The choices made in this shop are what create the flow in the world. Instead of putting a camera close to places full of deep contradictions, I chose to put it in front of a small corner shop that is barely visible and in front of people who live one day to the next in that shop.
Still Cut