Industry - CJ & TIFF K-Story Fund

CJ & TIFF K-Story Fund

The CJ + TIFF K-Story Fund, presented by CJ Cultural Foundation and TIFF in collaboration with KOFIC, is a new programme that aims to foster, support, and champion Korean Canadian and Korean American filmmakers looking to develop their first or second feature film.

Eight [8] writers or writer-directors will be selected to participate in a four-month story development process with support and guidance from CJ ENM, a leading global entertainment company that creates must-see dramas, award-winning movies and reality entertainment.

After the mentorship, three [3] of the projects will be awarded $10,000 CAD to support the development of their feature-length films and their filmmaking careers.

Please note that all successful projects awarded with funding will require participants to include both the CJ Cultural Foundation and TIFF logos in the final credits of their completed film.

What’s Included

  • Up to four [4] Mentorship sessions with CJ ENM from March to June for eight [8] selected projects
  • Inclusion in TIFF Talent alumni network
  • After the mentorship three [3] of the scripts will be awarded
    • A development prize of $10,000 CAD
    • A complimentary one-year TIFF Membership

2023 CJ & TIFF K-Story Fund Participants

US, California Rolls
Junsung Kim

Born and raised in Seoul, Junsung Kim is an artist, director, and editor with a diverse background in both the art and film industries. He received his MFA in Moving Images from Columbia University and has exhibited his video works at various institutions and galleries in New York. In addition to producing the third feature film of world-renowned artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kim has edited documentaries and TV shows for various networks. His unique perspective as a director and editor is shaped by his experiences in both the art and film worlds. He’s currently working on the documentary project Forest Hana.

US, Dances with Cranes
Justin Kim WooSŏk

Justin Kim WooSŏk is a writer-director whose work focuses on loss, displacement, and our changing relationship with the natural world. After graduating Wesleyan with an honor’s degree in Film and American Studies, he got his start working at Sugar23 and Jigsaw Productions. His documentary short film White Grass was selected for the 2022 Sundance Ignite program and screened at various festivals and museums around the world including HotDocs, Ji.hlava, and the MoCA in South Korea. His recent short film Sarajin was selected for the 2023 Indeed x Hillman Grad Rising Voices program and premiered at Tribeca. He is a current Sundance Asian American Fellow and is a recipient of the Fulbright, Thomas J. Watson, Mortimer-Hays Brandeis, and Sony Pictures Classic x IFP Marcie Bloom fellowships. When he is not directing his own films, he is producing prestige documentaries for HBO, such as Alex Gibney’s upcoming feature on Elon Musk.

US, The Windiest Day
Joanne Mony Park

Joanne Mony Park is a Korean-American writer-director from Los Angeles. She graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts MFA film program in writing and directing. While there, she received the Clive Davis Award for Excellence in Music, the Tisch Graduate Fellowship, and was a finalist for the ARRI Volker Bahnemann Cinematography Award. She holds a BFA in Visual Arts, and Education Studies, from the University of California, San Diego. Her stories focus on the hyphenated-American experience intersecting with queer storylines. Her films have screened at Slamdance Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Frameline, and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival where she won best director for her first feature film Fish Bones. Her work has received support from the AFI Directing for Women Workshop, Torino NEXT lab, the Cine Qua Non Storylines lab, and Soo Hugh’s Thousand Miles Project.

US, Soledad and Faith
Arom Choi

Born and raised in Ulsan, South Korea, surrounded by a claustrophobic, grim landscape of industrial factories, it took Arom many years to convince herself that storytelling is her true passion. Initially refusing the call, Arom had taken numerous detours, leading a nomadic lifestyle for years: studying in Thailand, working as a barista, farming in Australia, and backpacking Europe and Southeast Asia. Ironically, these experiences only deepened her interest in people, sparked her curiosity as a storyteller, and ultimately gave her the courage to pursue her dream.

She received an MFA degree in Film Directing at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and currently teaches fiction filmmaking at Colorado College, living in a suburb of the American Southwest. Her latest short film, Soledad, premiered at the 2023 St. Louis International Film Festival (Oscar-qualifying). The script was a Quarter-finalist in the Page Awards and a Semi-finalist in Film Pipeline Screenwriting Competition. Arom's CalArts thesis film, Knock Knock Knock, premiered at the 2018 San Diego Asian Film Festival and received a nomination for Best International Short Film. She is currently developing her first feature-length film, Soledad and Faith.

US, The Untitled Busan Project
Thomas Percy Kim

Thomas Percy Kim is a Korean American writer-director kindled by raw, introspective narratives and poetic imagery. His debut stop-motion short film, Trejur, screened at venues such as Heartland and Busan International before receiving the Harry Winston Brilliant Futures award and YoungArts gold medal. He attended USC film school, is repped at IAG as writer-director, and his live-action short, SI, starring Ki Hong Lee (Maze Runner) was sold to and distributed by HBO/Max. He is a 2022 Sundance Ignite Fellow, 2023 Blacklist Michael Collyer Finalist, 2021 Shorts to Feature Lab Fellow, and a 2021 Diverso Minority Report Fellow. His latest short, Busan, 1999 is distributed by Argo and won Best Narrative at the SFFilm Festival and BFI Future Film Festival, qualifying it for the 2023 Oscars. Kim is based in NYC and in post-production for Isle Child with EP Jim Cummings (Thunder Road).

US, First Day of Spring
Michelle K Cho

Michelle K Cho is a Korean-American filmmaker and photographer. After completing an M.A. in Filmmaking at the London Film School, she co-founded the production company Other People. She directed the short film, Marado (2019) and produced the feature film Siyabonga (dir. Joshua Magor) which premiered in competition at the Locarno Film Festival. She aims to create honest work and has a specific interest in the Korean diaspora.

CAN/US, Prodigy
Lloyd Lee Choi

Lloyd Lee Choi is a Korean-Canadian writer and director living in Brooklyn. His short film, Same Old (2022), was an official selection at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival as part of the main competition, the only US film to be accepted in the lineup of nine films. It had its North American Premiere at TIFF (Special Jury Mention), won first place at the 2022 HBOmax APA Visionaries awards, and won Best Short of the Festival at Raindance Film Festival. He is currently developing a feature adaptation with Destin Daniel Cretton’s company Family Owned.

Closing Dynasty is his second short film and world premiered at Berlinale (2023), winning the coveted Crystal Bear for Best Short. It went on to win the Audience Award at SXSW, Grand Jury Prize at AFI Fest, Best Short at HIFF, and Best US Short at Palm Springs Intl’ Shortsfest. The short was created in partnership with Gold House, Netflix, and Tribeca Studios, and was one of three films chosen to participate.

CAN, Go-Stop GO
Helen Lee

Helen Lee is a Seoul-born, Toronto-based writer-director. As an independent filmmaker, Lee has created original dramatic films starring Canadian talents such as Sandra Oh, Sook-Yin Lee, and Adam Beach, and Korean actors including Bang Eun-jin and Kim Tae-hoon. Festival premieres include TIFF, Clermont-Ferrand, Oberhausen, and Busan. Her films, often featuring Asian protagonists, pass the Bechdel test with flying colours.

    Presented by
    CJ Cultural Foundation
      In collaboration with