Director Biography – MJ KIM (JUICY GIRL)

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MJ Kim is an internationally renowned photographer who has worked with some of the biggest names such as Johnny Depp, Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney and many more.

MJ has been working for Sir Paul since 2008 as his personal photographer and finally pursued his childhood dream of being a filmmaker through ‘Juicy Girl’.

Through ‘Juicy Girl’, MJ hoped to shed light on the dark side of the US military presence in South Korea post Korean War and tell the story of the horror and violence many young women fell victim to and continues to endure to this day.

Short Film: JUICY GIRL, 15min., USA, Crime/Drama

 

1da2c9edaa poster‘Juicy Girl’ is based on events surrounding the murders of several of the many Korean women committed by US Army personnel since the Korean War of the 1950’s.

1992 South Korea. Soyoung, also known as Annie, is a Juicy Girl. A term used by American soldiers stationed in South Korea for local prostitutes. Soyoung is a trafficking victim, snatched by a gang when in her teens and forced into sex slavery. Sold to a pimp who operates his girls out of a nightclub, exclusively reserved for US Army personnel, Soyoung serves their ‘needs’. Her world is confined and tightly controlled, there is no escape. Soyoung’s only rare moments of joy come when she befriends a young street seller, Hoon a 10 year old boy.

Private Michael Johnstone, a US Army Medic, is a loner and shunned by the other G.I.’s. A narcissist and a misogynist, Johnstone is a psychotic landmine waiting to explode. At the nightclub Soyoung is in his sights, seemingly easy prey he can dominate and humiliate. Choosing his time carefully Johnstone, a master manipulator, romances and finally picks up Soyoung. Except Soyoung doesn’t play by his rules, nor is willing to do as she is told to by Johnstone. Johnstone erupts in a frenzy of brutal and grotesque violence. Leaving her dead and disfigured Johnstone feels no remorse.

Johnstone is arrested for Soyoung’s murder. Under interrogation he denies killing her though all the evidence confirms this. Johnstone is sentenced to life imprisonment. Some years later this sentence comes under review for possible parole. An experienced psychologist, Jane Owens, is brought in to assess Johnstone’s mental state. Owens gains a terrifying insight to Johnstone’s mind. To Johnstone, Annie was a nobody and got what she deserved. She was inferior, an irritating nuisance – just a Juicy Girl. Owens’ firm conclusion is that Johnstone must never be given an early release. He is a danger to society and likely to commit again. But justice can be bought. Soyoung had no protectors. Johnstone has one of the most powerful on earth, The US Army, who want to bring one of their boys back home. The Army coerces Soyoung’s family into accepting compensation for her death, blood money. They have no choice but to accept.

Private Michael Johnstone is released early. A free man.

This leads to outrage from the local populace, for the crime should not have allowed early parole.

News & Reviews

Director Biography – La’Chris Jordan (JANUARY 14th)

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LA’CHRIS JORDAN is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker who has received over 60+ awards, grants and honors for her writing. Recently, she was a grant development winner at the Stowe Story Labs and a finalist for the SAGindie Fellowship for her feature ROSES IN THE WATER. She was a winner in the Script Lab’s Screenplay Contest for her historical pilot PINEY RIDGE which was also a Second Rounder at the Austin Film Festival, a finalist for the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Fellowship, and a semifinalist for the Sundance Episodic Lab and the MACRO Episodic Lab powered by the Black List.

In 2019, La’Chris made her directorial debut with JANUARY 14TH which won Best Short and Best Director at the Top Indie Film Awards. The short is currently on the film festival circuit, gaining acceptance at prestigious festivals across the country such as the Pan African Film Festival, Miami Independent Film Festival and Indie Short Fest, among others. La’Chris is currently in pre-production for her second short film THE RIDGE which was a semifinalist in the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition.

As a playwright, La’Chris was named ‘One of the 50 Playwrights to Watch’ by the Dramatists Guild and a Semifinalist for the extremely competitive Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwriting Program at Juilliard.​ A former journalist and graduate from the University of Washington, La’Chris is the founder of BlackCinemadb.com, an entertainment and online movie database of over 700 films from the African-American and African diaspora. She is based in Los Angeles, California.

Director Statement

JANUARY 14TH was inspired by my parent’s 30+ year marriage. They were best friends who had journeyed through heaven and hell together. To say they were in love would be an understatement. They were soulmates. The only time I saw my father cry was when my mother passed away in 2008.

January 14th was their wedding anniversary.

Making a film in commemoration of their relationship began in 2018. The script had gone through several incarnations before I settled on the version you are seeing today. The film was shot over two days in Los Angeles with a small, but talented crew. The cast was made up of local actors who we selected through a meticulous and rigorous audition process. Chemistry between all the actors, above any previous experience, was what we were looking for. The budget was small, but we focused on capturing the soul of the story despite the limitations.

In essence, JANUARY 14TH is an exploration of the day-in-the-life

Short Film: JANUARY 14TH, 15min., USA, Drama/Crime

A2fb7ab3b4 posterA young couple’s anniversary takes a bittersweet turn when a police officer pulls the husband over on a questionable traffic stop. Inspired by true events. Winner of Best Short and Best Director by the Top Film Indie Awards and nominated for Best Writer by the Queen Palm International Film Festival.

News & Reviews

Play Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from July 2020 DRAMA Festival

PLAY, 13min., Poland, Drama

Directed by Piotr Sulkowski

A man consumed by guilt because he did not dare to defend his mother, plays the role of a murderer and forces his ten-year-old self to face his original trauma…

Weep Not Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from July 2020 DRAMA Festival

WEEP NOT, 13min., USA, Drama

Directed by Lenore Thomas Douglas

Journey Gordean, a successful journalist gets to cover a story of a lifetime, but her ambition is tested when that very assignment is the man who assaulted her when they were children.

Spirit: A Martian Story Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from July 2020 DRAMA Festival

SPIRIT: A MARTIAN STORY, 10min, USA, Drama/Fantasy

Directed by Stimson Snead

NASA sought evidence of life on Mars. That search begins with water, and the search for water begins with the study of the rocks and the soil. That was the historic mission of the rovers SPIRIT and OPPORTUNITY. This is SPIRITS story.

Terra Beach Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from July 2020 DRAMA Festival

TERRA BEACH, 20min, Canada, Sci-Fi/Drama

Directed by Mike Gallant

A college freshman in 2069 returns home and kindles a romance with a Hispanic girl only to realize they have gained the space colony’s attention.