Posted on 29/03/2012
Media Arts students pull out all the stops for their final films. And Jeong One Park, from Royal Holloway, University of London certainly did. Her final submission for the MA in Documentary by Practice last year, a film called Kung Fu Grandma, has been shortlisted for a prestigious One World Media Award in the Student Award category. She has made it to the final three, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony in May. Jeong One says: “The first thing I did when I found out I’d been shortlisted was to call my parents in Korea.”
Kung Fu Grandma is set in the slums of Korogocho, Kenya. A group of grandmothers come together to protect themselves following a spate of horrifying sexual assaults, fuelled by rumours that elderly women can act as a cure for AIDS. The film follows Rose, Jane, Mary and their fellow Kung Fu Grannies on a liberating self-defence course, placed within a wider tapestry of Korogocho life; its laughter and its sadness; its children, and its men; searching for the deeper reasons behind the shocking violence. What unfolds is a powerful and challenging portrait of a community and its resilience, and a testament to the Kung Fu Grannies’ bravery and fighting spirit.
The One World Media Awards rewards the most outstanding media coverage of the developing world and recognises the unique role of journalists and filmmakers in bridging the divide between different societies and raising awareness of vital development issues.
Although Jeong One has never won any film awards previously, word is definitely getting out about her talent. CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival in Canada, one of only four Oscar, BAFTA-qualifying festivals, has invited her film to enter the festival. She says: “I have no idea how the programmers found and watched my film, but apparently they were very impressed by it.”
Since graduating from Royal Holloway, Jeong One is living in London and working as an independent documentary filmmaker. She says: “My ambition is to make films that lift the lid on previously unexplored worlds, and to do so with imagination and humanity.”
For further information about the awards, visit the One World Media website.