ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Asian Network of Documentary(AND) Fund

2023 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

LIST K-Number
Category Haein Shipping Fund
Project K-Number
Director JO Seyoung
Country Korea
Director's Profile Her first feature documentary, Variety Survival Talk Show(2009), humorously depicts the stories of sexual assault survivors. Let’s Dance(2013), her second feature documentary, tells the stories of women who had abortions in a unique form that crosses the lines between fiction and documentary.
Since 2015, she has broadened her interests to fictional genre films, experimenting with the possibilities of video. Fair Trade(2015), a short fiction film about female solidarity; Talking of Her(2016), a play that reenacts the voices of the Sewol ferry victims; and Space Bag(2017), an audience-participation performance, are part of this experiment. Among them, Talking of Her(2016), a collaboration with theater artists, and Space Bag(2017), a collaboration with fine artists, were the main works that expanded the possibilities of video beyond its limits.
Mioka, a Korean-American adoptee, has attempted to find her birth family multiple times but failed. During her journey, she discovers ‘Banet,‘ a group of Korean women who help adoptees find and reunite with their birth families. Banet supports Mioka to find her family based on her adoption documents, and as the journey goes, they figure out that there is a chance that the documents were fabricated. The fabricated documents now become the biggest obstacle.
Banet does not doubt the adoption agency’s good intentions at first; however, as the search continues, they realize that international adoption was a “child export” practiced by the agencies and government. Banet becomes outraged that Mioka was not the only one, and more than hundreds of thousands of children were sold away to foreign countries as a form of orphan trafficking.
Now Banet is about to face the absurd truth.
Director's Note
The K-number is a classification number that the adoption agency assigns to each child being adopted abroad. Korea is the only country in the world that allowed a system called ‘proxy adoption,’ where people could adopt a child without visiting Korea to see the child. In return, adoption agencies demanded exorbitant fees from adoptive parents.

Children who were adopted abroad are returning to Korea as adults. They realize that their adoption documents are incorrect and ask the adoption agencies for the original documents, but the agencies hide them for unknown reasons. The Korean government remains irresponsible as if they didn′t expect the adoptee to return.

This documentary attempts to involve Koreans who keep failing and are disappointed in the journey of the adoptees. Despite the failures they encounter, the documentary views this as a process of being true Korean.