Magazine article Screen International

My Screen Life: Kwak Sin Ae, 'Parasite' Producer

Magazine article Screen International

My Screen Life: Kwak Sin Ae, 'Parasite' Producer

Article excerpt

The producer of ‘Parasite’ talks about her life in the film industry.

Kwak Sin Ae is the producer of Bong Joon Ho’s Palme d’Or winner and awards contender Parasite and is CEO at Seoul-based Barunson Entertainment & Arts Corporation, better known as Barunson E&A. Originally from Busan, she worked in publishing before starting in the film industry as a journalist for magazine Kino in 1994 and then moving into film development, publicity and marketing at Generation Blue Films, LJ Film and Shin Cine. She joined video gaming and film production company Barunson E&A as CEO in charge of film in 2010.

What is the first thing you do when you arrive in your office each day?

I check my emails and these days, all the news-clippings Neon — Parasite’s distributor in the US — sends overnight. It takes me a while to read through all of them with help from Google Translate.

What’s the most impressive answer you’ve ever had in a job interview?

I don’t remember any concrete answers but I watch people to see their attitudes when you ask vague or prickly questions. I guess director Bong has the all-time best attitude. He is earnest and hardworking to the point of being a workaholic. He really does have great character as well as talent.

With whom would you most like to take a meeting?

Director Bong saying he has a new project.

Who helped you most when you were first starting out?

Former Kino editor-in-chief Jung Sung-il, who is now a filmmaker as well as a critic and academic, was the one who asked me to work on Kino and that led to me working in the film industry. I learned so much reporting and studying up on Cannes, the Academy Awards, Cahiers du Cinema, Hollywood structures, Kubrick, Chaplin, neo-realism and New German Cinema — it was like going to two graduate schools at once. …

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